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Mother Says Lodi High School Not Doing Enough To Enforce Social-Media Policy

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Anjali Hemphill Anjali Hemphill
Anjali Hemphill joined CBS 13 in June 2012 and she's happy to make the...
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LODI (CBS13) — A Lodi High School parent claims her daughter is the target of cyberbullying and questions how the school district is handling it.

It’s the same school district that recently enacted its own social-media policy to stop cyberbullying. The principal hailed his school as one that took the lead in making those changes.

But Michelle Zepata says the school isn’t following its own rules.

“I feel my daughter should not have to go to school everyday in fear for her life and looking over her shoulder,” she said.

Zepata and a handful of other supporters stood outside Lodi High School, saying the school isn’t doing enough to stop cyberbullying.

“They threatened her with physical violence, they’ve called her derogatory names online and with that I worry so much,” she said.

The mother says two girls on the high-school cheerleading team are harassing her daugher on Twitter, even threatening to physically hurt her. She says her 14-year-old freshman can’t sleep or eat, and is afraid to go to school.

“It’s happening outside of school hours, and that’s expected because you’re not allowed to have phones at school,” she said.

Just last year, the Lodi Unified School District enacted a policy that forbids students in sports and campus clubs from posting disparaging comments on social media.

Zepata reached out to both the principal and the school district, and was told the girls involved were talked to.

CBS13 spoke to the principal, who says he disputes the facts presented by Zepata, but he refused to elaborate because the case involves minors. He went on to say the school can’t police social media outside of school hours.

Zepata is now left wondering why the two girls sending the malicious messages on Twitter haven’t faced stricter punishment.

“It baffles me that when someone makes physical threats that are carried into the school and affect my child’s education, that nothing is done,” she said. “That genuinely upsets me.”

School leaders say every student is sent home with a letter about the social-media policy that parents must sign.

In the meantime, Zepata says she has filed a restraining order against both of the accused girls.

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