Surplus of Fake Instagram Accounts for School Clubs, Organizations Cause Problems

Administration team is working to ban these impersonations.


Placing her cellphone into the holder, sophomore Alize Quiroz abides to the new restrictions put in place after a series of fake social media accounts were created with the school’s name. This rule was put into place to limit cyberbullying, mainly through the action of taking pictures or videos of students during school hours. “We were never really allowed to use our phones in class anyways,” Quiroz said. “Implementing this new rule really just enforces the current one. I don’t necessarily think this is the correct solution, because there’s lots of other things that could prevent cyberbullying a lot better because it’s going to happen no matter what. However, I see how admin may think it’s fair.”

Kailie Sicolo, Staff Writer

Over the past few weeks, multiple fake Instagram accounts have been created, presumably by students, claiming to be official SWCTA clubs or organizations. Principal Donna Levy and the administration team is trying to get these accounts taken down to stop cyberbullying and harassment.

“With Instagram, it’s very hard to get things taken down,” Levy said. “We investigate every single one, but many times we don’t have the ability to actually get the accounts taken down. I can issue a cease and desist since these accounts are using our intellectual property, our logo, our image, and our name. However, I then have to wait around for Instagram to decide to take down the account.”

According to Assistant Principal Donna Besser, besides sharing misleading news about fake school club and organization meetings and events, some of these accounts have resulted in cyberbullying. Many of these problems go unresolved due to the difficulty of tracking down the owner of the account. Despite that, admin is required to complete an investigation for each reported incident.

“Cyberbullying is a very big deal, and it’s a problem that only gets worse every year,” Besser said. “It’s obviously hard to deal with since we don’t own Instagram, or TikTok, or any of the other apps kids use nowadays. We have had instances in the past where the situation escalated to the point where we had to get metro involved since they have many more resources to deal with stuff like that.”

In response to these problems, Levy has decided to place schoolwide mandatory restrictions on students’ phone and earbud usage inside of the classroom in order to prevent further problems. 

“From a teaching perspective, admin making sure teachers are not allowing students to use their phones in class shouldn’t really impact us because we were supposed to be doing that anyways,” Fashion Design teacher Levi Harbeson said. “It kind of stinks that we can’t just trust the kids to do what’s right and behave correctly, but if the kids don’t have their phones then they can’t make fake accounts or cyberbully in school. It’s kind of the only solution.”

While phone restrictions in class may prevent the creation of new mock accounts, students like sophomore Emily Boothe feel that a group punishment isn’t the right way to resolve the matter.

“There’s a lack of trust now and it’s like the school is treating us like we’re little kids,” Boothe said. “Me personally, my parents need to get in contact with me during class time. Now that the teachers are being more strict about the phones, I don’t end up seeing those messages for about an hour later at most. Most of the time those messages aren’t that urgent, but in the instances where they are students should be able to pull their phone out real quick and reply to them.”