This App Marketed For Teens Only is a Parent’s Worst Nightmare

Part of my job as the editor of a parenting website is to keep parents informed about dangerous apps their kids may be using on social media, and it’s something I do not take lightly. It’s challenging though, because of the speed with which new apps are developed and the lengths which both teens and the app developers go to to keep these apps flying under parents’ radar. So, despite the fact that it’s been around for several years, I am just now hearing about and telling you about the After School app and why it’s bad, bad news for your kiddo.

Like, the After School app is REALLY bad news. SO bad, in fact, that it’s been banned from the Apple app store several times, mostly because teens have used it multiple times to make threats of violence at school (but always “cleans up its act” enough to get reinstated). The Washington Post wrote an article about the After School App and nailed the inherent problem: “Because it is designed to be accessible only to teenagers, many parents and administrators have not known anything about it.”


Photo: After School App

So, what IS the After School app?

The After School app is a vehicle that allows students to post videos, comments, and photos on a message board specifically for THEIR high school (handy, I mean DANGEROUS location features automatically determine which school your student should belong to) without identifying themselves (meaning, anonymously – HUGE red flag!). So yeah, you can use the After School app to say whatever you want, about whatever or whomever you want to, without penalty. AWESOME. Or not.

Why the After School app is dangerous for your child

There are a number of things that make the After School app dangerous for your child. Like, I LITERALLY could go on for 5,000 words on this, but I’ve narrowed it down to just a few (and if these aren’t enough for you to delete it off your child’s phone, then you might need a parenting class. Seriously.)

1. The After School app is designed so that ONLY teens have access. It is designed to EXCLUDE parents.
To get an After School app account, you have to connect a Facebook account, which will verify your age to ensure that you’re not an adult. This may sound good in theory, as it should keep creepy adults off the app. However, it’s very, very bad, as it also excludes vigilant parents from using their Facebook accounts to sign up and monitor what goes on on their child’s school message board. Of course, parents COULD just create a fake Facebook account and use THAT to sign up…but so could adult predators looking to get information on or God forbid, CONNECT with your child. And predators being predators, I am QUITE sure they do. The After School app feigns security for your child but it can do VERY little to protect them. Case en pointe…

2. Cyber bullying is rampant on the After School app.
The Washington Post profiled the app and interviewed Mya Bianchi, who was 15 when someone used After School app to torment her. “At first it was people saying nice things and complimenting others, and then it turned into bullying,” she says. Things got very bad for her personally when someone posted her phone number on her school’s message board with instructions to contact her for photos. Using a bikini emoji and a wink emoji, the person who posted Mya’s number made it clear what KIND of photos to ask for, and Mya began receiving scores of harassing messages. It got so bad she had to have her phone number changed. Cyber bullying, as I’ve discussed ad nauseum, is rampant on social media, and the After School app is a perfect vehicle for it. Mya’s case is bad, but I’ve no doubt that much, much worse cyber bullying has occurred on this app. While one of the app’s founders, Cory Levy,  said After School gives teens a chance to “express themselves without worrying about any backlash or any repercussions,”  he conveniently leaves out the fact that kids who do NOTHING WRONG, like Mya, are experiencing SERIOUS repercussions from their peers who use the app to bully others.

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson
Jenny is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor.

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