A Georgia middle school student has filed a lawsuit against classmates who allegedly set up a fake Facebook account in her name and used it to bully and harass her.
In the suit, Alex Boston, 14, and her parents accuse the classmates of libel for allegedly creating a phony Facebook page in Alex's name and, using a picture of her they distorted, suggesting that Alex smoked marijuana and spoke a made-up language called "Retardish," the Associated Press reported. The classmates are also accused of using Alex's fraudulent Facebook page to leave obscene comments on others' pages, making sexual references and posting a racist video to YouTube.
"I was upset that my friends would turn on me like that," Alex told the Associated Press. "I was crying. It was hard to go to school the next day."
The lawsuit, which states that the fake Facebook page exposed Alex to "hatred, contempt and ridicule by her classmates and peers," accuses the teens of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, Wired reported. In addition to the classmates, the suit also names their parents of the defendants, claiming that the parents paid for their children's Internet access and failed to supervise their activity.
Alex's family said despite requests to Facebook to take the phony account down, Facebook only did so after the lawsuit was filed.
The complaint began last May, when, after learning of the fake account set up in her name, Alex approached school officials at Palmer Middle School in Kennesaw, an Atlanta suburb. The administration said their hands were tied because the activity occurred off campus.
Alex's parents heard a similar story after they filed a report with Cobb County Police, who said they had no recourse because, as police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce told the Associated Press, "We were not aware of any cyberbullying law on the books that would take her specific situation and apply it to Georgia law."