Editorial: Cyberbullies show hatred in schools

S chool officials promise disciplinary action if any Clovis Municipal Schools students are involved.

Police are investigating possible criminal acts.

We hope any adults responsible for the "Their Hand" Facebook page will be publicly identified as cowards and forced to answer for their despicable actions.

For those not familiar, and don't want to wade through its filth, the anonymous cyberbullies on "Their Hand" post defamatory comments about Clovis teens, then ask the abuse targets to "confirm or deny" the unattributed allegations.

CMS Superintendent Terry Myers said several students have expressed concerns to school counselors and some have even discussed leaving school in hopes of escaping the abuse.

"We don't know who has done the site, but I assure you our police department will find out," a determined, irritated Myers said on Friday.

Clovis Police Chief Steve Sanders said officers are investigating whether "Their Hand" operators have violated state statutes regarding criminal harassment.

"Harassment consists of knowingly pursuing a pattern of conduct that is intended to annoy, seriously alarm or terrorize another person and that serves no lawful purpose," the statute reads in part.

"Their Hand" claims it has five people monitoring and posting on the site, including one CHS student. Monitor ages range from 15 to 29, they say.

"(O)ur purpose is to say what everyone else is already thinking," one post reads. "(W)e don't make stuff up or anything … everything we say to people is what their friends say behind their backs anyway."

"Their Hand" operators, who don't reveal their identities, claim one of their missions is for followers to "stop taking words so seriously and begin to just live your damn life."

So we should thank them for verbally assaulting young people? We don't think so.

The only life lesson "Their Hand" offers is that hateful people live in this world and sometimes we have to deal with them as best we can.

We can try to help them or we can try to punish them or we can ignore them, but we cannot allow them to define any of us or prevent us from pursuing a fulfilling life.

Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the Clovis Media Inc. editorial board, which includes Publisher Ray Sullivan and Editor David Stevens.

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