Parents, have you heard of Yik Yak? If not, you’d better get educated, and fast. Yik Yak is a new a very popular social media app. Think of Twitter with anonymity and you’ve got the basic idea. The other major catch is that Yik Yak is limited to a specific radius, as little as 1.5 miles and, some say, as much as 10 miles.
Why is Yik Yak dangerous? Because it is the new app of choice for cyber bullies. It has already shut down schools due to misuse. Students are hiding behind Yik Yak’s anonymity to make bomb threats, sexually harass others and spread false rumors. There is no limit to the potential havoc that could ensue.
What can be done? First, educate yourself. Go online and read more about this and then sit down and discuss it with your children. As always, knowledge is power. Next, encourage your children not to engage in the mayhem. In my practice I have often seen victims of bullying become accused of bullying when they retaliate.
Where will it end? The company behind Yik Yak has already agreed to restrict access to a school district in Connecticut. Encourage the administrators at your school district to do the same. This won’t stop kids from using the app, but it will stop them from using it at school.
If your child is the victim of cyber bullying or has been accused of this, do not hesitate to contact a qualified attorney. Whether it is a matter in the juvenile courts or a school disciplinary matter, attorney Mark Zimmerman can help you navigate these complex systems.