- Girl Scouts: The Silent Killers
- Study Suggests Stonehenge Was Prehistoric McDonald's
- Wolfgang Van Halen Sick Of Being Hit On By 45-Yr-Olds
Schools Rail Against New 'Hexting' Fad
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (CAP) - Maria Cordeiro remembers the day her daughter Danielle came home from high school a different person like it was yesterday. The mostly jovial 15-year-old who loved to laugh and play jokes on her little brothers was suddenly moody, anxious, and locked herself in her room for hours at a time. The single mother was at a loss.
"We had to get rid of our cat Blackie because she wouldn't stop freaking out when he was in the same room as her," recalled Cordeiro. "Always with the tossing the salt over her shoulder, the rosemary under her pillow, the smudge sticks - I just want my daughter back."
Maria isn't alone. Schools in the greater Boston area and indeed, in many metropolitan areas throughout the country, are finding themselves face to face with a new fad that most are ill-equipped to deal with. Termed hexting, the practice involves sending curses via text message, and for teens already dealing with inordinate peer pressure for everything from fashion to popularity, they're now becoming pariahs in their own skin.
"No matter how you dress it, this is just another form of bullying," said child psychologist Nicole Lundberg. "Except with standard bullying, you get beat up, the wounds heal, you move on. But with these curses, you could spend the rest of your waking life burning Ginseng root and never leaving your bedroom.
"Gone are the simple days of hexes when all you had to worry about was your milk cows going dry or your prized horses going lame," noted Lundberg. "Nothing simple about an SMS Evil Eye, though. Nothing."
But many school counselors say they see hexting being used as a coping mechanism and form of retaliation against bullying and while that doesn't make it acceptable, it does level the playing field. In one instance, a janitor at a school in Malden, Mass. found a well-known bully cowering in the back of a classroom, whimpering and crying to "get these damn spiders off me."
"Hexting is to bullying what water boarding is to torture," said one metro Boston principal who asked not to be identified. "No harm, no foul, and most of the victims had it coming to them anyway."
While most schools already have policies against cell phone use during the school day, many are considering additional measures specific to hexting. However, some groups like the grassroots organization Mothers Against Everything say new rules will do little to help thwart kids who are already prone to breaking rules.
"The other day school bullies turned my son into a newt!" said MAE spokesperson Darlene Fortenski. "Well, yes, he got better by the time he got home from school, but I can only imagine how difficult a day that was, trying to hold his pencil and take tests without an opposable thumb.
"Why can't kids just jinx each other when they say something at the same time?" added Fortenski. "Silly fun, that is, and no one has to worry about becoming a salamander."
Maria Cordeiro says she agrees with MAE's sentiment and isn't sure whether more rules against hexting would have prevented her daughter's current ordeal. But she says being a kid these days is infinitely more difficult than it was even a few years ago.
"God, how I long for the days of sexting when all I had to worry about was her naked picture being passed around," lamented Cordeiro. "Nudity is fleeting, but curses last forever."
- Banner Stands» Browse banner stands by Post-Up Stand. Trade Show Displays, Retractable Banner Displays, and more. High quality, 48 hour turnaround time!
- Prom Dresses 2013» Searching for the perfect dress to wear on your big night? Take a look from these styles who top the best-dressed lists all the time!