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Ladue School Administrators Investigate Instagram Bullying

District officials learned of photos and crude comments Tuesday.

A district spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that Ladue Middle School administrators are aware of a series of photos with derogatory comments circulating on the social media site Instagram.

Susan Dielmann said she was unsure if the children pictured, which she has assumed were district students, were boys or girls.

Dielmann said the photos do not appear to have been taken at school and were not by themselves "inappropriate." Patch has not seen the photos or the comments.

She said administrators learned of what happened Tuesday morning, but were heartened by the fact that students were adding their own commentary to the social media site to say that the comments were not OK. Parents were notified about the incident Tuesday.

Dielmann said there would be consequences and discipline if those responsible are caught.

This is the email sent home from Principal Vicki VanLaere to the school parents:

Parents,

It was brought to our attention early this morning that a student had posted pictures of Ladue students on Instagram.  The site is titled, "Ladues_Ugliest" and there are some unkind comments posted with the pictures.  This account was created outside of school hours but has caused a stir in our building.

We are working with the administration at Ladue Horton Watkins High School as well as the School Resource Officer.  It is our hope that we can resolve this situation quickly.

We would like to commend the students who brought this to our attention as well as the parents who have provided additional information.  It is also noteworthy that many of our students posted that this kind of behavior is not acceptable and hurtful to others.

Vicki VanLaere

Principal

Ladue Middle School

The news comes just months after a Ladue Middle School student was able to access a chat room where the student shared a cell phone photo with exposed genitals with a man who police say performed a sex act. The student in that case was disciplined.

At the high school level, the district faces a civil rights complaint from an Olivette mother who was concerned about bullying taking place there in the form of a crude list which has circulated toward the end of the school year with commentary about the personal and sexual habits of students.

flyoverland January 16, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Yes, all types of things happen at private schools, however, you don't see them escalating to a Federal Case like we did last year at Ladue. If you can't see how a strong, effective leader could clearly articulate and enforce the rules, I don't know how I can help you.
flyoverland January 16, 2013 at 07:12 PM
We just made the Post. The picked up on Gregg's sccop. http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/ladue-middle-school-investigates-bullying-on-photo-app/article_2de2c52c-78a7-5dfa-9c36-03f20028458d.html
ReverePaul January 17, 2013 at 06:45 AM
flyoverland, please elaborate on how an effective leader can stop someone from posting pictures on an anonymous instagram account or stoping kids post a list when they don't know who posted it. Yes, a leader can articulate rules and intimidate kids but that's not going to stop kids from making stupid decisions.
CreveCoeurDad January 17, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Compare and contrast the following conversations: Ladue Parent: If you don't do something about students talking about my slutty daughter, I'm going to make a federal case out of it. Ladue Administrator: Wimper MICDS Administrator: If you besmirch the reputation of this institution, we're going to make the rest of your children go to Ladue. MICDS Parent: Wimper Rich MICDS Parent: If you don't withdraw the disciplinary action against my son for the schoolboy "prank" he played on less wealthy children, we're going to take our large donation to another school. MICDS Administrator: Wimper.
ReverePaul January 17, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Well played CCD

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