It was a page that authorities say was filled with insults and threats, including one post about a shooting. Now, according to KRDO 13, an 18-year-old from Colorado Springs has pleaded guilty to harassment. Kyle Pate admitted to having a key role in the Facebook page, entitled "Falcon Problems" that showed photos of students from Falcon High School, along with the taunts and threats.
KOAA 5 reported last February that authorities were alerted of the page when it was days old through the "Safe To Tell" student hotline. School District 49 requested at that time that Facebook remove the page, which was done. A district spokesperson also warned parents in February to know what their students were doing online.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Department quickly identified two suspects, Pate and 18-year-old Alexander Natale, according to Denver's ABC 7 News. The young men received each were summoned to court on charges of harassment. The Sheriff's Department released a statement at that time, announcing that it took accusations of cyber-bullying seriously because such situations could escalate into violence or result in repeated events of victimization.
Charges were dismissed against Natale in September, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported. As part of Pate's plea deal, he will write a letter of apology and a three-page report on cyber-bullying. In addition, he will serve 40 hours of community service. If he completes these provisions, the misdemeanor harassment charge will be scrubbed from his record.
According to a report released in July from the Cyberbullying Research Center, about 24 percent of students participating in the past six surveys reported being cyberbullied at some point in their lifetime. About 17 percent of the students admitted to cyberbullying others.