Middle school principal falls victim to cyberbullying

Middle school principal falls victim to cyberbullying
SULTAN, Wash. -- She's the last person you'd expect to get bullied: the school principal.

But Sultan Middle School Principal Robin Briganti found herself the target of online bullying. Someone set up a bogus Facebook page, and posted vile words and humiliating comments under her name.

"I was impersonated," she said.

Briganti said she wasn't angry at first; she was hurt. She just couldn't believe someone would so something so awful.

"At first, I was shocked. And then I thought about who would do this and why?" she said.

Facebook yanked the page, but not before her family, friends and students read fake conversations between her and students that implied Briganti was having inappropriate relationships with students.

"Once you type those words and you hit send, you can't take it back. I don't think there's a real awareness of the seriousness and the hurtfulness that this can cause," Briganti said. "I would like the individual or individuals who are a part of this to know that this is really mean."

Superintendent Dan Chaplik is confident the district will catch the cyberbully. School officials are working with Snohomish County sheriff's investigators and Microsoft to track the computer the Facebook page originated from.

"We will deal with it to the greatest extent possible within the law," Chaplik said. "We're a place where people come to grow and learn, and we just have zero toleration for this."

Briganti said she was so humiliated that she found herself not wanting to return to school

"I know the feeling of wanting to stay home in my bedroom, pull the covers up over my head and not come to a place that I love," she said.

But instead of hiding at home, she decided to turn the incident into a lesson for the whole school. Briganti spoke about the experience to the entire student body.

"I know who I am," said Briganti. "I know I didn't do that, and I'm not going to let a cyberbully ruin my life. It's not going to happen."