Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the text and do the exercises to check your understanding.
Kay got another message as she was leaving for school.
unknown number: You’re so ugly.
She put her phone in her pocket and walked to the bus stop. There were messages every day now. Who was it? Why were they doing it? The phone beeped.
Now even her friends weren’t talking to her. Becky was the only one who was still friendly. She was Kay’s oldest friend. The phone beeped again. It was a comment on her Facebook photo.
princesspusheen: No one wants to look at you. Loser!
Kay felt really upset. She was trying to delete the messages and block the users. But more messages came from different names. Becky thought it was a hacker. Kay contacted the sites telling them what was happening but they didn’t answer.
Becky was waiting at the bus stop. 'Hi, Kay, are you all right?' 'No. There were more messages this morning. Do you think I should go to the police?' 'Maybe,' said Becky. 'But I don’t think they can help. I think he’s using anon.com. Hackers use that website to hide their identity so the police can’t find them. Anyway, I think I know who it is ...' Just then the bus came and they got on.
There were lots of kids from school on the bus. Kay thought they were all looking at her. Julie McGann was talking quietly to her friend. They both started laughing. Kay and Becky sat down. 'Who is it?' asked Kay. 'Shh! He’s sitting at the back. Don’t look!' Kay looked around. Ollie Jones was on the back seat, looking at his phone. 'But why?' asked Kay. 'You finished with him, didn’t you?' said Becky. 'What? We weren’t going out,' said Kay. 'And I don’t even like him.' 'Yeah, well I heard he really liked you.'
That day at school was really bad. When she didn’t have classes with Becky no one sat next to her or talked to her. There were more messages.
anookins2014: What happened to your face?
pixiestar: You make me sick.
bellatricks17: Everyone hates you!
By lunchtime Kay was really upset. Mrs Gibson her music teacher saw her crying and Kay told her everything. She offered to go to the police with Kay. She said they were better at finding cyberbullies now. The bell rang. It was time for class.
Kay had ICT next. Her class was in the computer room, but the teacher wasn’t there yet. Becky was in a different group for ICT. Everyone went quiet when Kay came in. There was only one computer left. She moved the mouse and saw the website. It was called hatekay.com. There were photos of Kay but they were changed to make them look horrible. There was one of Kay that looked like a zombie. There was a message at the top of the page:
Like this page if you hate Kay Granger.
There were more than 100 likes. Her phone beeped.
unknown number: I’m watching you.
Kay ran from the room and didn’t stop until she got home. She didn’t go back to school that week. She didn’t switch on her computer or mobile phone. On Monday, Mrs Gibson called. The police thought they knew who the bully was. Kay decided to go and tell Becky.
Becky was in her bedroom working on her computer. They started to talk, but then Becky’s mum opened the door. She looked worried. 'Becky, can you come downstairs?' Kay stood up too. 'Could you wait here please, Kay?'
Kay waited, but Becky didn’t come back. Then the computer started beeping. It was a message. Kay looked at the screen. She couldn’t believe what she saw. There were photos of Ollie Jones. Some of them had kisses around them. There was one of Becky and Ollie together. There was a message at the bottom of the screen. Kay clicked on it and a website opened up. It was anon.com. It was Becky’s home page. Just then the door opened. It was Becky’s mum. She was very upset. There was someone standing behind her. 'Kay, this policewoman wants to talk to you.'
By Brendan Dunne
Is bullying a problem in your school? What can people do to stop it?