Student confesses to creating on-line poll

Published on February 19, 2016

A female student from Marystown Central High School has confessed to creating an online poll discovered last week by students from the school.

Sgt. Larry Turner, with the Burin Peninsula RCMP, told The Southern Gazette Friday the student who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act will not be facing charges in relation to the matter.

The Gazette broke the story about the poll this week.

A release issued by the RCMP said the girl was apologetic and embarrassed by her actions.

Police say they are satisfied the student understands the impact of what she has done, as well as the potential actions such as this could have caused.

Titled “Biggest slut of MCHS,” the poll asked people to pick one or more names from a list of eight female students.

But in the statement released Friday, the creator of the list offers her apologies to the students involved.

“I am truly sorry for the embarrassment, humiliation and emotional pain that I have caused to the girls involved, their families and friends,” she writes. “My actions were not meant to target anyone on the list; the girls were chosen randomly.”

She went on to say she feels each girl is a good person who did not deserve to be disrespected, and that she regretted her involvement in creating the poll, and, if she had her time back, she would not have started it.

The news release said the RCMP were made aware of several polls similar to this one that were created regarding other schools in the area, and around the province.

“RCMP has contacted the administrators for the web-based site and have requested all such polls be deleted immediately,” the news release said.

Officials say site administrators have been co-operative with police throughout the investigation.

The RCMP also issued a reminder to students, parents and residents of the Burin Peninsula.

“Although social media is largely anonymous, attention must be given to those utilizing such forms of media for potentially harmful means,” the RCMP said. “What may appear innocent to some, can be seriously damaging to another’s self-esteem and public image.”

In the future, the RCMP will be partnering with local schools, other involved government departments and the Burin Peninsula Voice Against Violence Committee to conduct presentations on the use and impact of social media.

“The RCMP asks parents to be vigilant regarding their children’s use of computers and cell phone-based access points,” wrote Const. Stephane Esculier. “Further, be open to communicating (the) dangers as well as positive uses of the Internet at home, in school, and on their own time.”

The Southern Gazette contacted administration at Marystown Central High School but at the time of this up-date they had not been notified that a person had come forward in the matter.