Facebook Page Launches Insults At High School Students

GALT, Calif. (CBS13) — School officials haven’t had any luck tracking down the creator of a Facebook page dedicated to insulting students at one local school, and authorities say they can’t do anything about it until threats are made.

The so-called “Liberty Ranch Burnpage” delivered profanity-laced insults against students at Liberty Ranch High School, specifically naming students in its derogatory rants.

Liberty Ranch principal Brian Deis said he’s spent the past two weeks trying to track down the page’s author.

“They are vicious attacks and the person is using anonymity to say some very, very mean things,” Deis said. “They’re giving the school a bad name. As far as we can tell, they’re not even a student at this high school.”

Some of the posts on the page claim specific students are homosexuals with sexually transmitted diseases, and other posts claim a student’s mother is going to die because of her weight.

Other posts by the page’s creator said, “This is going to ruin people’s lives,” and, “I love how im ruining peoples high school carreers.” [sic]

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said they can’t take action against the page’s creator because no threats were made and no crime was committed.

Parents said they sent dozens of requests to Facebook to ask for the page to be removed. CBS13 sent a request for an interview through Facebook to the page’s creator, but just a few minutes later, the page was no longer accessible.

It is unclear if the author or Facebook removed the page.

Principal Deis sent a letter home to parents encouraging them to check on their children’s internet habits.

If the creator of that Facebook page is discovered to be a Liberty Ranch student, he or she could face expulsion.

  • Defense

    Expulsion for what, as the police stated, no crime has been committed. Ever heard of freedom of speech? Why not blame the creator of the whole internet (Al Gore LOL) for all the blogs against people. This is no different and is protected speech.
    If it is a student, and they get penalized for it, SUE SUE SUE.

    • Anti-Defense

      What about the post saying you’re gay and a child molester? Is that “free speech?” Is posting that your mommy is selling herself on a street corner “free speech?”
      Go back to watching Teletubbies and leave the posting to the adults.

      • Nat Reader

        Actually it is free speech. Maybe you forgot but in the past before the Internet kids just yelled these insults at each other down the street.

      • Jason

        umm, yes. It is Free Speech. You, as an American, do not have the right to Not Be Offended. Your emotions are not protected by the Constitution, under the “Hurt Feelings” Amendment. You have every right to write this person off as a horrible individual, and move on. You do not have the right to say “how dare you say anything negative about me”. Sorry, you aren’t that special, and no one cares if your feelings are hurt. No Crime here.

      • Michael Eric Wille

        You have a good point. I’m proud of you who ever you are. =]

      • MissDaisy

        If it’s not true you can sue…it’s illegal to write anythng that is untrue and harmeful…if you win in court, you own everything they nce had!

      • Jay Teske

        It’s free speech until someone challenges the person in court.

        The best thing to do would be to have an attorney send Facebook a subpoena for the persons identity/IP address. People have free speech; however, they also need to be responsible for what they say with those words. You can’t go around speaking and/or writing a bunch of untruths and be free and clear under “free speech.” This is covered under libel (for writing) and defamation ( for spoken) laws.

      • learnlaw

        I agree, because especially if it’s false and ruining people it is called libel. That’s illegal. It’s not covered under free speech.

      • Jill MacCartney

        Yes, that actually IS free speech. What is not free speech is yelling “fire” in a crowd, or threatening the life of someone. Free speech comes with a lot of responsibility, and some people are just not mature enough to use it wisely.

      • grow up ADULTS

        shut up…And yes it is free speech..you morons all care about social networking too much. You actually care about what people say over facebook…GET A LIFE

        ex: SARAH FELTON is single </3 (19 comments) 14 people like this

    • sosilly

      Ha Ha!! High School is NOT a democracy. The schools have a right to expel the students and call it bullying.

    • Sonny Kile

      Look up the words “libel” and “slander”.

    • ThingAbouIt

      That could be considered cyber-bullying, and that is a crime.

    • Bob

      America 101: For the uneducated. “Freedom of Speech” doesn’t give you the right to say anything you want. Freedoms of Speech protects you from government reprisal. I.E. You can’t go to jail for saying “I don’t like the president” or something like that. or The government can’t stop a news company from printing a story just because they don’t like it.

      What happens within other institutions is entirely up to them. If a school wants to punish a student for derogatory language, that’s their prerogative.

      Really though, the person posting things like that anonymously on FB is a coward. Plain and simple. If you want to insult someone, be willing to do it to their face.

      • Jason

        I agree with you until you fail to recognize that a Public School is a Government Institution, as it is funded by the Public. It is in no way a Private Institution. If expelled (and this is a student) they can sue, and win. If a person has a fat parent, chances are, that parent will die of something related to their weight. That is a very true statement. You cannot force everyone to “play nice”.

    • pollycracker

      Freedome of Speech:
      Liberty to express opinions and ideas without hindrance, and especially without fear of punishment. Despite the constitutional guarantee of free speech in the United States, legal systems have not treated freedom of speech as absolute. Among the more obvious restrictions on the freedom to say just what one likes where one likes are laws regulating incitement, sedition, defamation, slander and libel, blasphemy, the expression of racial hatred, and conspiracy.

    • Tammy

      This happened at my daughter’s school. The author posted pictures of them and then stated dirty comments. Freedom of speech I do not think covers positing pics with out permission. My daughter and her friends were not the burn page friend list. So how did they get their pictures.

      • Jay Teske

        Umm, right click/copy/save most likely. It’s not difficult to save a pic off the internet. Which is one of the reasons kids need to keep their profiles friends only AND private. They also need to clearly understand that, once you post a pic online, it’s there for eternity. There’s no take backs. And, college admissions officers and prospective employers often check these things nowadays. Kids post some pretty insane pictures without thinking of the potential repercussions down the road.

        Oh, and if someone’s going about blantantly speaking or writing lies, you’re ALWAYS protected under State/Federal libel/defamation laws. These are a civil and not criminal issue however. So someone will have to file a complaint in your local court. Also, more and more States ARE, in fact, passing anti-bullying/harassment laws for electronic media. You’d probably want to look at your State’s criminal Statutes online to see if yours in one of those.

      • Bob

        Re: the Kansas nutjobs. They are allowed to exist because they are not insulting or addressing anyone specifically. Their signs basically say “the country sucks” as opposed to “you suck.”

        If their signed named names, or addressed the deceased directly, they could be sited for libel or slander and likely sued.

        A small loophole, but one they’re exploiting to the full extent possible.

      • junior

        Your daughter and her friends probably sent the pictures and you do not own copyright to them. And if those nuts in that Kansas church have free speech, then so should this person.

  • Adam Foster
  • Carol

    @DEFENSE … freedom of speech does not protect defamitory, foul or harassing statements.

    The person who put this page together is obviously someone who has no friends or life.

    • Marcoh

      I agree with you. Someone is greatly in need of professional help. I hope they find out who did this and have the parents get him help.

    • Zebula

      “freedom of speech does not protect defamitory, foul or harassing statements” yeah tell that to reverend phelps

    • Dan

      I believe the Supreme Court would disagree with you. Witness their ruling last week for Westboro Baptist Church.

  • Speech isn't free

    It’s always the mentally and physically impotent mamas boys that post insulting comments on Facebook. They live with their parents, are in their 20s and 30s, can’t keep a job, depend on mommy and daddy for money, can’t get a woman ( too impotent), think that playing video games makes the a man ( it doesn’t), and will be living at home until they die.

  • J

    Whoever made the page and wrote stuff can probably be sued for deflamation of character which can get pretty damn expensive!.
    Try using the constitution to save your ass then…It is freedom of speech when your giving your opinion so did the page say “In my opinion”? If not then someones in big trouble.
    The creator of the page obviously watched Mean Girls way too many times..

  • Michael

    He or she could face expulsion? On what grounds? The school is only responsible for the student while the student is at school. If they posted the comments from a non-school computer (probably at home, since school districts block social networking websites), then the school does not have the right to punish the student.

    • Chris Craft

      In just about every school there is a code of conduct. This does include actions outside of school. Please take a moment and read a student handbook and then you will understand. In most cases the student and the parent must sign the back page at the beginning of the year stating they understand the expectations for conduct. Anything that can be taken a offensive to the school or other students can be used as reason for expulsion.

      • Michael Eric Wille

        Ooohhh, Yes they can!

      • Michael

        I am a high school student and I have read a student handbook. I’ve asked administration before of when they have the right to punish a student. They said that they are only responsible for the student once the student leaves his/her front door or car in the morning, until the student gets into his/her car or front door in the afternoon. If something occurs outside of those times, they are not responsible and cannot pursue punishment.

  • Florin High Student

    Look, you guys have one burn page, But there are new burn pages springing up over here at Florin High. Each page saying people are gay and that they are involved in sexual activities. But to combat this a brave student made a florinhigh lovelist. That counters the burnpage and says good things about Florin students. It’s our way of fighting back.

  • mike

    advertise,advertise, nothing better than putting it on the news to get more people to put more on there. MORONS

  • Jeremy

    So how many people in here were once in high school? Im assuming ALL of you. Get over yourselves guys, there comments! There not sayin it to the persons face, and im sure theres ones who kno the truth in the stories. Everyone talks about everyone and its something people need to understand. Stop getting so hurt over words. There just WORDS!

  • Tammy

    This happened at my daughter’s school – James Rutter Middle School – Elk Grove School District. My daughter and her friends were not friends of the page. But their pics were posted on the profile and then harassed. New profile pic every few min or so. Burn Pages should be shut down ASAP. If you read the comments on the pages, I do not think it qualifies as free speech Posting pics of other people is not a part of free speech. So what to do when posting pics that is not yours. It is just harassment and should be dealt with appropriately by the school, law enforcement, and Facebook.

    • Amir Cashmere El-Badry

      I went to james Rutter Whats your daughters name

  • Student

    Your all dumb, until someone dies this is isnt a priority.

    • Topanga

      Speaking of dumb…

      “You’re all dumb. Until someone dies this isn’t a priority.”

  • student9

    Bullies and harassment happen every where at every school in America. I always see that some kid killed him/her self because of what is said on the internet. So why shouldn’t this kid get punished what he is doing is slander and against the law. And to “student” do you want to see another dead person who is innocent and just dose not know what to do. This should be stopped before somebody dies.

    • Alex

      Look if someone really feels bad enough to kill themselves over something like somebody saying some bad things about them then there is something wrong. Really, if some stupid person is posting on facebook that you’re ugly then who cares. If you want the problem solved then just go tell someone and get it fixed and don’t just say, “I’m going to kill myself,” because that’s just an easy way out of a situation

  • Michelle

    I can’t believe the police department didn’t order Facebook to take this page down based on bullying. Bullying is such a serious issue these days and they were just helping it along by allowing it to stay there. At least the principle of the school was trying to do something about it and he should be commended on that. As for the Freedom of Speech issue – you are right, but when the Freedom of Speech drives someone in high school to embarrassment or worse (death), then that is going overboard and should be stopped and not allowed. I don’t really think Freedom of Speech pertains to bullying.

    • Maya

      They didn’t because they CAN’T. Facebook is private property and they own all content therein.

  • Annie

    all in all this is a virtual form of bullying not to mention Slander. the culprit behind this if found to be a student should be expelled. this isn’t freedom of speech its cowardice and obnoxious which leads me to believe the person responsible has such low self esteem that they need to trash talk about others to make themselves feel better… I completely agree that Burnlists online should be banned and those sent throughout the schools should be placed in a fireplace and burned just as the list is named…

  • DS

    I’m not going to read all the comments so I do not know if this was mentioned yet. Defamation, in this case “libel”, IS actually a crime. “False Light” laws are intended to protect a plaintiff’s mental and emotional well-being. Only question here is “What jurisdiction does this fall” Is it where the page’s creator lives? Is it where the server is that hosts the facebook page itself?

  • http://www.ezazz.com/main/2011/03/facebook-page-launches-insults-at-high-school-students/ Facebook Page Launches Insults At High School Students

    […] SOURCE CREDIT Recommend on Facebook Share via MySpace Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Posted in California, Galt, CA | Tags: Liberty Ranch High School […]

  • AmericanCitizen27

    Facebook = Identity Theft, Bullying, Hate Crimes

    It is little more than a perpetual live gossip column for teens or information gathering tool for law enforcement.

    It causes everyone to get lazy and stop talking to each other.

    Facebook destroys communities.

    Facebook is only a stupid computer program.
    Get real again – talk to your friends!
    Shut Facebook down!

  • Michael Eric Wille

    Well, now that I have sat here and read some of these comments, I jus dont’ know what to think. I believe that teachers should be able to do anything outside or inside of school. If these kids that made this go to that school and is posting stuff about other students on that page, then heck yeah.

  • Nat Reader

    Gee Whiz…just don’t read the facebook page. It really is not that hard.

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