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District seeks to take down offensive Facebook pages

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:43 a.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013 11:44 a.m. CST

With media attention building, the administrators of Facebook “confessions” pages focused on Newton High School have taken to mocking attempts by school district officials to have the pages taken down.

“To the people saying they’ll track our IP addresses and plot our downfall: We’re all wearing tinfoil hats to prevent it,” wrote the “NHS Confessions” administrator. “Don’t you worry. Got this all under control.”

The administrator of the competing “NHS Confessions/Secret Admirers” page said, “We are safe. This is taking place outside of the school so they can’t do anything. Long live Red Pride.”

As of this morning, 900 students had “liked” the NHS Confessions page, while 250 had liked the relaunched NHS Confessions/Secret Admirers page. A third page, NHS Compliments — a companion site to NHS Confessions — had nearly 500 likes.

Superintendent Steve McDermott announced last night the district, through its attorneys, has requested Facebook take down both pages. He also said expulsion of students who are discovered to be administering these pages, or any similar page, “is something that will certainly be considered.”

“We have a number of students who are upset about what is happening to their classmates,” he said. “We may reach the point where we ask some of our more tech-savvy students to help ferret out who originated these sites.”

Law enforcement officials have been contacted, as well, but McDermott said they are effectively powerless to address the situation.

Daily News Editor Bob Eschliman may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 423, or at beschliman@newtondailynews.com.

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