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High School Fights Back Against 'Facebook Confessions'

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NEWTON, Iowa - An Iowa school district is fighting back against a Facebook page where students are sharing private thoughts ranging from the innocent to the offensive.

Some Newton High School students are afraid to come to school, while many others are angry about what's being posted online.

"It's tough to stop. It really is," said Newton Community School District Superintendent Steve McDermott. "It puts knots in your stomach because some of it is vulgar for one thing, and pretty callous."

McDermott said Facebook pages were created allowing students to share their private thoughts anonymously.

One of the pages is Newton High School Confessions, and students are posting everything from juvenile banter to reckless rumors, and even bullying.

"We had had students that were so shaken by comments made on the web that they didn't want to go to school the next day," said McDermott. "(The students) don't get to worry about things like worrying about school, having fun with their friends or being involved in activities when they have other things hanging over the head, like these negative things on the web.

The district is taking legal action, McDermott said.

"You go back to the host of those sites and you make legal contact. You have legal representatives contact those sites and ask that those be pulled down," said McDermott.

McDermott said if a student or group of students is found to be responsible for creating the pages, they will likely be expelled.

"You do the best you can to protect kids and to make sure they're getting their education. Learning is what we're supposed to be about, and a lot of things do pull us away from that primary focus," said McDermott.

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