Md. Superintendent Cyberbullied Over Opening Schools

Some tweets were funny; others were threatening to superintendent and his family

Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014  |  Updated 8:30 PM EDT
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Despite the deep freeze, most schools in Montgomery County stayed open on Tuesday.  That decision put the heat on school leadership. News4's Chris Gordon reports on how parents and students are reaction to the controversial call.

Chris Gordon

Despite the deep freeze, most schools in Montgomery County stayed open on Tuesday. That decision put the heat on school leadership. News4's Chris Gordon reports on how parents and students are reaction to the controversial call.

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Md. Superintendent Bullied Over Opening Schools

One month after Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr said he was cyber bullied about canceling school because of weather, it appears it's happening again. A string of abrasive tweets were posted Tuesday morning in response to Starr's call to keep county schools open.
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The superintendent of schools in Montgomery County, Md., became the target of cyber bullies for the second time in less than a month after deciding to keep the county's schools open during Tuesday's record low temperatures.

Following news that an arctic blast would bring record-breaking temperatures and wind chills near minus 20 degrees to the area, many school districts in the area canceled classes for Tuesday. But D.C. Public Schools and Montgomery County Public Schools announced classes would be in session.

Soon after Starr's decision Monday night, the abrasive tweets began pouring in on Twitter.

 

 

 

 But some users did come to Starr's defense.

 

Last month, Starr wrote a letter to parents after receiving threatening and offensive tweets while making a decision on whether to close schools during a snowstorm.

"Some of these tweets were clever, funny, and respectful, pleading for me to cancel school so they could sleep in or have more time to do their homework," Starr wrote in the open letter. "Many of these tweets, however, were offensive and disturbing."

Some of those tweets referenced Starr's family and used "racial epithets and curse words." Some tweets disturbed Starr's staff so much that they reported them to school principals and the county school's security team.

Schools spokesman Dana Tofig said some students' tweets to the superintendent are appropriate, but some students -- and adults -- go over the line.

"As Dr. Starr said at that time and again today, he doesnt feel like the was cyberbullied," Tofig said. "He never felt threatened."

 

Starr advised parents be aware of what their children are up to, especially when on social media websites.

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