Instagram Accounts Removed over Safety Concerns at Canby High School

Two anonymous Instagram accounts have been removed from the platform after concerns arose this weekend about their activities, including publishing photos of Canby High School students and labeling them as potential violent threats.

One of the accounts in question came online Saturday night and used the handle @chs.schoolshooters. It published several photos of students before it was taken down, claiming that they were potential perpetrators of gun violence and should be monitored.

In an email to the community Monday, Canby High School Principal Greg Dinse said staff became aware of the accounts the previous morning and immediately involved the Canby Police Department, which is continuing to investigate the accounts and those responsible for them.

He reported in a second email that both accounts had been removed.

Dinse said that both school district and law enforcement officials believe there are no safety concerns or credible threats to the Canby High School community.

“Safety is our paramount concern at Canby High School,” he wrote. “Police have investigated, and we remain steadfast that CHS is safe and there are no credible threats. We encourage students and families to remain calm in these difficult times. Of course, parents may withdraw students if they choose.”

Dinse also thanked parents and community members who had reached out to share information and concerns.

“We follow our safety protocols, and we want to assure you that we take threats seriously and strive to keep our schools safe,” he said.

A local parent posted about the @chs.schoolshooters account in the Canby Now Facebook group Sunday, calling it “absolutely cyberbullying” and encouraging community members to report the account on Instagram and parents to ensure the safety of their children.

Bullying is a pervasive problem in online spaces frequented by teens — particularly Instagram, a popular photo-sharing application owned by Meta (formerly Facebook). Four in 10 young people report having experienced bullying online, and 42% of that group said they were targeted on Instagram.

Young people who experience cyberbullying are at a greater risk for self-harm and suicidal behaviors.

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