New app leading to bullying among teens

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Have you heard of Yik Yak? Most likely your children have. In fact, it’s most likely an app on their phone. The social networking app is popular with high school kids but some fear it’s getting nasty and leading to bullying of other teens.

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The mobile app is very popular at Branford High School. Nine out of ten kids News 8 talked to had the app on their phone. They say it’s a cruel and embarrassing way to pick on classmates.

A new tool for cyber bullying has made its way to smartphones of Branford High students. It’s a mobile app called Yik Yak. There are no profiles, no passwords and it’s anonymous.

Branford High School

“Once you read it, it is just mind shocking,” said Isaiah Rodriguez.

Students say mean and cruel comments are posted about their classmates on the wall. Those comments can be seen in seconds by students at other schools across town.

News 8’s Noelle Gardner downloaded the app and found these comments:

“Stop sneezing like a cat.”

“Dates the coaches daughter to get more minutes in basketball.”

“Head to head in the battle for the best Snapchat nudes.”

Snapchat is another app that sends photos that self destruct.

“Mostly just making fun of people’s private life,” said Daniel Driscoll.

“It’s just hurtful things that people don’t want to hear this and it’s just bad,” said Claire Benevento.

Those trolling the app can get live feeds of what classmates are doing.

“I just skim through it to see what they say. It’s just nothing good,” said Rodriguez.

” Just like bringing people’s personal lives into things and it’s nothing that needed to be brought up,” said Courtney Canterbury.

The app is free to download but contains age restricted material.

“I won’t allow it,  I won’t allow it,” said David LaCroix, a father.

The school superintendent says the school is taking appropriate steps such as using a firewall to block use, but that does not prevent anyone from using their personal devices to access it.

Some students deleted the app on their phone.

“It started getting mean I know, and I said no I’m done with this unit and I deleted it,” said Michaela Spinello.

The Superintendent says the best solution is for parents to talk to their kids about it.

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