The Newport-Mesa Unified School District warned parents and community members about a mobile app that has become an avenue for cyber-bullying, harassment, violence and other issues, officials noted in a message this week.
The “problematic” app, called Ogle, is designed and marketed for students to post videos and/or pictures about themselves, other students and their school campuses. The application allows users to submit photos, make comments and post without censorship and in total anonymity.
“There is no practical use for this app and that it is largely being used to spread harmful, hurtful and negative messages,” district officials wrote in a message. “There are offensive, insulting and even threatening posts on the Ogle app.”
Many schools in the district are being affected by it.
District officials urged parents to carefully monitor student’s online presence and use of this app and any other social media. They also recommended that the app be removed if found on a student’s phone.
“The best way to be unaffected by Ogle is to be disconnected from it,” NMUSD officials explained. “We do not believe it adds any value nor does it deliver any positive benefits for our students.”
NMUSD has partnered with local police departments to research the validity and origination of threatening claims.
District officials also asked parents to report any harassment to school administrators and report problems to the Ogle company directly.
Include as much information as possible, including screenshots of the offending material. The more information provided, the better, school officials said.
“We appreciate your help in partnering with us to ensure a safe environment focused on student learning,” they concluded in the message.