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Gaggle gone viral

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Cadence Neenan

Just when Staples students thought the harassment had come to an end, they were faced with yet another demoralizing app: Gaggle. Within 24 hours, the administration had blocked the app, but students found they were able to access it outside the school’s network.

The app is described on iTunes as, “An anonymous local bulletin board to post messages to the people around you. It is a fast reliable way to share your thoughts, gossip and talk about things around you.”

Essentially, it is the equivalent of Yik Yak, just with images instead of text.

“What we have created here, ironically, is a public toilet stall on the internet for everybody to see,” Principal John Dodig said. “it’s anonymous, and you can be as gross as you want.”

The app shortly made its way to Staples after the recent fiasco with Yik Yak. Many students say they downloaded Gaggle as soon as they heard about the photo usage.

“It’s a pretty active site, believe it or not,” said an anonymous junior boy. “It’s mainly juniors who have been posting pictures of people hooking up, drunk, and passed out in hopes that others will find them humorous.”

Despite the negative attention that Yik Yak had drawn upon Staples, some students simply were not phased and continue to participate on Gaggle.

The administration learned of the app yesterday and were able by today to shut it down on school grounds, according to Dodig; however, those who have 3G or 4G cell phones still have access to the site.

Alexa Davis ‘15 said that the presence of images worsens the damage on the victims, “Unlike Yik Yak where people can make up lies, Gaggle allows you to upload photos that you have saved to your phone which is basically visual confirmation, not to mention an invasion of privacy.”

After the events that occurred within the past week, Dodig has encouraged his staff to continue to make Staples a safe learning environment for its students and to report anything that they witness.

“If this was just a job and I didn’t care for the students here as my own children, I would go home and forget about it, but I can’t,” Dodig said. “It is the same idea as if my son or daughter let me down. I’m disappointed to say the least.”

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About the Contributors
Bella Gollomp, Staff Writer
Isabella Gollomp ’15 is a people’s person.  Bella loves people. And people have a habit of loving her back. So it is no surprise that interviews are her favorite part to journalism. “I love getting to sit down with all these interesting people, and being able to hear their story and share that with the world” Gollomp said, calling conducting an interview both a major responsibility and also a great gift. Bella joined Inklings her sophomore year, but said with a laugh, “I didn’t get good until last year.” She’s not so proud of some of her older stuff, but takes it in stride. She knows the bad articles led to the good ones. Everyone has to start somewhere, right? She’s really proud of her article on Andrew Accardi’s passing last year. She says it was so hard to write about such a sad subject, but that she was really invested in getting the story covered right, and in a respectful way. Bella was invited to the Accardi house and sat down with Andrew’s father, Frank. She felt so welcome, even though she was hesitant to take the story at first. It was such an emotional topic, Gollomp says, but she wanted to test herself, and push her limits. “The most important thing in journalism” Gollomp said, “is just taking risks and stepping out of your comfort zone to get the best possible story.” Gollomp still talks to Frank Accardi. She gets updates about Andrew’s Army, the charity founded in Accardi’s passing. Bella’s empathy and tact has led her to write harder stories, with more sensitive topics. Her personality lets her make friends on the way.  
Cadence Neenan, Web Managing Editor
By the age of 18, most kids have not yet chosen their favorite word. In fact, most teenagers have never even thought about such a question. Perhaps a few have been asked on a “Getting to Know You” sheet handed out by English teachers on the first day of school. But in that case, most probably just mindlessly scribbled words onto their sheets such as “literally,” or “totally,” or “dude.” Cadence Neenan ’15, on the other hand, has thought about this deeply. Her favorite word is “loquacious.” Neenan grew up in a home that fostered a love for all things English. With her mom as a former Staples High School English teacher and her dad as a librarian, Neenan was destined for a love affair with vocabulary, grammar, and reading. “My mom always used to read to me ever since I was little,” she said. “I love to read because I was raised to be a good reader.” In school, Neenan has opted to create a heavy course load that reflects her love of English and reading. AP Lit, AP Lang, AP Euro, and AP Gov are just a few of the difficult classes Neenan has chosen to take on. For Neenan, however, much of the learning and “fun with English” goes on outside the class material. “The other night, I was reading a poem during English class,” Neenan said. “I really liked it, so I brought it home and showed my mom. We spent the whole 45 minutes at dinner rhetorically analyzing it and talking about the devices the author used. It was so fun.” Alongside typical English classes, Neenan has also become a part of Inklings to exercise her love of writing. After taking Intro to Journalism, she fell in love with newspaper writing and, since then, has proven herself to be an essential Inklings player, as she is now the Web Managing Editor. “When I found out that I got Web Managing I had a panic attack because I was so happy,” Neenan said. “I like being a managing editor because I love the freedom the web gives me to be creative with my ideas.” Neenan also plans to use her journalism and writing skills in college and, later, in her career. “In college I want to study political science, but I am considering using that to go into journalism,” Neenan said. “Going into journalism with a focus on politics is what I am really interested in.”

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