UNA Campus Threat Reported Through Phone App - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

UNA Campus Threat Reported Through Phone App

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FLORENCE, AL (WZDX) - The anonymous app Yik-Yak has caused quite a controversy on the University of North Alabama campus this week.

"People have said some really bad things about several people, myself included on this app," said UNA senior Kaitlin Chappell.

The app was designed to be an anonymous virtual bulletin board or messaging system for random thoughts, but it has turned into a new way to bully other people.

"It's petty things. It's silly, but if someone says something to the wrong person, something way worse than this could happen," said Chappell. The app allows users to post anything about anyone and some lead to threats.

On Tuesday, it was taken one step further when someone posted a threat saying they were going to "shoot up" the university's campus. Many students like Chappell have had enough of Yik-Yak.

"I hate that this happened, that a gun threat happened, but I hope that this is just something minor that will open peoples eyes to this terrible app before a suicide or a murder happens from something like this," says Chappell.

UNA isn't the only school that has had problems with Yik-Yak. High schools and middle schools across the state have banned the app because of escalating concerns.

The campus wasn't shutdown Tuesday because of the threat. But Kilby Elementary School, which is across from UNA, was put on lockdown because of the threat.

UNA Police Chief Robert Pastula said if the university banned the app it wouldn't do any good. After Tuesday's threat, they are working with Yik-Yak to find the culprit.

"We're not planning on banning Yik-Yak. They've been more than cooperative with us. In fact they called us and said we don't approve of what went on," said Pastula.

Officials say the app isn't as anonymous as students think it is.

"We're working with Yik-Yak and they've given us some information we can use for the investigation. As it turns out, it's someone here at the university that sent that message," said Pastula.

Some students at UNA plan to voice their concerns with Yik-Yak at the next Student Government Association meeting. Until then, Chappell says if the Student Body can come together, they can take a stand against Yik- Yak.

 

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