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HEBER CITY — Instagram posts berating students and telling them to end their own lives resulted in a police investigation to find a cyber-bully at Rocky Mountain Middle School Thursday.
Heber City Police Officer Xela Thomas said investigators had identified the student responsible, but she declined to offer any identifying details about the student.
Investigators determined the bullying did not rise to the level of a criminal offense, according to Thomas.
Still, the suspected bully was expected to face consequences from the Wasatch County School District.
“They told me not to wear lipstick and I’m not hot,” eighth-grader Zoey Evans told about the post targeting her, “that I’m a disgusting whore and to go kill myself.”
Evans is one of six bullying victims, according to the district.
The profanity-laced posts came from an Instagram account that had changed handles multiple times since the bullying began, Evans said.
“I just kind of like looked at my friend and was like, ‘Oh my Gosh! What do I do about this?’ ” she recalled. “It was horrible.”
They dig deep into your heart and that's probably the worst kind of hurt that you could do to somebody. You want to protect your kids and it just makes me really sad that someone can go this low.
–Katie Evans, mother of bullied student
The post infuriated Evans’ mother, who has since tried to raise awareness about the bullying on Facebook.
“They dig deep into your heart and that’s probably the worst kind of hurt that you could do to somebody,” Katie Evans said. “You want to protect your kids and it just makes me really sad that someone can go this low.”
After word of the Instagram posts spread through the school, the student body united Thursday to comfort those who had been targeted.
“A lot of people have been going up to those kids that were victims of it and just like showing them how much they love them,” Zoey Evans said.
The teen said many students sent text messages and emails filled with positive words and thoughts.
“That just helped everyone know that people are there for them,” Evans said.
Wasatch County School District superintendent Terry Shoemaker said the district tries to encourage students to be responsive and supportive in these types of cases and utilizes anti-bullying programs like Cool 2 Care.
“To share those feelings quickly and often with kids is something we’re trying to espouse in all of our schools,” Shoemaker said. “We want the kids themselves to begin responding back in appropriate ways to each other, particularly with social media.”