The Rye City Middle School went after a gossip site published on the micro-blogging site Tumbler. In a note to parents and in a student meeting, RMS social worker Peter Green "outed" the site as "not the kind of activity that a person of character would do".
The site has since been removed.
The city is in an ongoing conversation about civility. Here is the email sent to parents:
Attention Parents of RMS Students
In the past few days a blog was created on the tumblr.com website called ryegossipgirl. The creator or creators have been using the site to answer anonymous questions and speculate openly about the personal lives and behavior of their peers. As you can imagine, many students are upset about the blog and its potential for harm.
Since no crime has been committed, RMS can only do so much; it's not certain that the blogger(s) currently attend our school.
Yesterday afternoon, we posted this message on ryegossipgirl.tumbler.com.
"Hi. This is Mr. Green, writing on behalf of Rye Middle School. We understand that you might think this sort of tumblr page is fun. To our way of thinking, it is not the kind of activity that a person of character would do.
In the interest of compassion and civility, I'm requesting that you take this page down today. If you don't, or if you rename it, the school will take action to find out who you are; there might be consequences, although I can't say what they will be at this moment.
The best reason to take the page down is not fear of punishment; it is your understanding that taking it down is the right thing to do.
By the way, we heard about ryegossipgirl from a number of sources. There are more than a few students who believe that this is wrong. If you leave it up, or rename it, we will, more than likely, find out again.
If you doubt that this is a real posting from the Middle School, feel free to send anyone into my office to ask me.
Thanks for reading this; I hope you act quickly to take this page down."
The bloggers declined to delete the page.
The Rye City community is currently involved in a series of discussions about civility. At a meeting last week, professionals from the Rye Youth Council presented a draft of a Civility Statement. Concerned individuals from Rye City government, from the schools, the houses of worship and civic organizations along with private citizens engaged in meaningful conversation about concrete actions that could encourage mutual respect and acceptance in our community.
In line with these admirable goals, Rye Middle School would like to encourage parents to talk with your children about the ryegossipgirl blog. Please help your sons and daughters make respectful and empathetic choices in their dealings with each other.
RMS Social Worker