New After School App causes Teen trouble on campuses and parents want it taken down.
The After School App was launched in October 2014, and in it’s first two months on the market it has already been rejected from the app store twice due to complaints from parents and teachers.
Because of some threatening messages from teens on the app, many schools have sent warnings to parents regarding safety and cyberbullying issues.
Even if it’s currently unavailable for download, over 100,000 Teens and Tweens currently have it on their mobile devices and continue to use it on campuses. Therefore, we’ve created this video and blogpost to help parents and teachers learn more about the After School App.
About the After School App
After School is a new anonymous app, which encourages students to post confessions on school’s private message board
- It’s a new anonymous app similar to Yik Yak, SecretApp, Whisper and Ask.fm.
- The main distinguishing feature is that it creates a separate chat group for each school.
- To join the group/school you have to verify that you’re a student of that school on Facebook (the app will check the information posted on your Facebook page).
What’s the main issue with the After School App?
The After School app has been removed twice from the AppStore because of threats and arrests
The app was launched October 13th, 2014 and was targeted towards school students, so it was marked 12+ years and older.
In less than 2 month the app gained hundreds of thousands student users. After a number of complaints by parents and teachers, the app was temporarily unavailable on the Apple store until it relaunched with an age restriction of 17+.
December 4th the app was back on the Apple iOS app store and in less than a week it was taken down again. One of the main reasons for it’s disappearance was a petition launched on Change.org by a Swartz Creek, MI student.
Although the app is currently unavailable to download, it will be back soon (RutlandHerald). Moreover, hundreds of thousands people have already downloaded it on their phones and can continue using it.
17+ age restriction makes the After School App inappropriate for school campuses that use it most
The 17+ age restriction makes the After School App even more controversial
It’s supposed to not be designed for kids under 17+. However, it encourages users to connect the app with ANY school they belong to (middle, high, etc.)
After School App Issues for students and their parents
After School created a new anonymous platform/app for cyberbullying, sexting and alcohol/tobacco/drug chatting
Messages posted on the After School App include the following content:
- Alcohol, tobacco, or drug references.
After School App issues for schools
Some students think it’s funny to post threats on this new anonymous app (until they get arrested)
Some people think it’s funny to post threats on this anonymous app, they believe that no one can track them. However, several campuses around the US have been closed due to this app for several days. Here’s some of the topics that have caused concern:
- Bomb threats
More on Forbes.
Teens are getting arrested and face serious charges after posting threats on After School App (recent cases)
Teens are getting arrested and face serious charges after posting threats on After School App
- One user in Michigan posted on the app that he/she was bringing a gun to school, resulting in a police and FBI investigation (thankfully the threat wasn’t credible). A similar threat occurred in Ohio. According to ReCode.
- A 17-year-old, who was arrested in December 2014, used the popular “After School” app to make his death shooting threats. “It’ll be one of two, if not both: act of terrorism, which is a 20-year (felony), or using the Internet for this activity, in this manner, (which is) also a 10-year felony,” Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said. “So there’ll be serious charges.”
- A week before a gun threat on the same app regarding Flushing High School led to the arrest of 18-year-old student Neil Bindschatel. He’s charged with malicious use of a telecommunications device. More on CBS Detroit.
After School App spreads like wildfire
Since launch, users from more than 14,000 different high schools across the US have already downloaded the app. For comparison, there are roughly 24,500 public high schools in total in the United States. More on ReCode.
What can teachers and parents do to keep kids/students safe?
Have a dialog with your kids to see if they are using the After School app (or other anonymous apps)
- Have a dialog with your kids to see if they are using this app.
- Set an age restriction on your kid’s phone (as the app is 17+ it won’t allow younger kids to download).
- If your kids have this app, download the app and search for your kid’s school/group. Then monitor the content.
How to register on the After School App
- Download the After School app.
- When you open the app it will automatically find nearest schools around your location.
- Choose the school group you want to join.
- Click on “I’m a student” (verify with Facebook). To get through the verifying process you need to add the high school to your Facebook page. (watch a detailed guide how to add a school in our video).
We hope our video and blogpost will help you to keep your kids safe with this new app. Comment bellow if you have more questions or share the issues you’re facing at your school.