Malcolm Thomas, Superintendent of the Escambia County School District, issued a press release today that his some of his middle school and high school students are using an app “After School – Funny Anonymous School News For Confessions and Compliments.”
The app is described as “an anonymous and private message board for your school” and can be downloaded to an iPhone, iPod or through Safari (a web browser developed by Apple) and accessed via Facebook.
According to the school district, graphic and sexually explicit videos have been posted and then followed by students displaying inappropriate comments, sometimes about students in their own or neighboring schools.
“As you can imagine, this can be distressing for students, some of whom are following this site just to ensure no one is making comments about them,” explained Thomas.
“What is different about this site, and makes it even more troubling, is that posts are made anonymously, unlike other social media sites where you can trace a username back to an email account. Because of the way this site functions, there is little the district can do if a student is being targeted, because the person posting the comments cannot be identified.”
Thomas also to make sure the app is not affiliated, endorsed or organized through the school district.
“This app has caused so much difficulty, in so little time, that I want to reach out to our students, staff, district families, and the community to ask everyone to help monitor this app and to eliminate its use,” added Thomas.
The app, which was free and rated for ages 12 and over, is no longer available on Apple’s App Store, however, parents are asked to check for an icon that displays a tiger wearing yellow striped sunglasses.
The Superintendent has alerted Principals and staff members of the School District to the dangers associated with this app. They have been asked to eliminate student usage of the app at school. The app has been blocked on all District wi-fi and Principals will be telling their students that use of this app on their personal devices on campus will result in disciplinary action.
“We are hoping that everyone will help us with the monitoring and elimination of this app from all student-owned devices. As your Superintendent, as a father and grandfather, I am asking for your help. There are too many risks associated with this app to make it worth keeping,” concluded Thomas.