Sharing Anonymous Stories Online

Students from the Iowa City Community School District anonymously submit their experiences of discrimination, racism, sexual harrasment, and more.

Sharing+Anonymous+Stories+Online

Recently, accounts have been created on Instagram with the username “_____aticcsd.” These accounts were made to let students share their experiences that have occurred within or outside of school. The person who submits their story to these accounts has the option to remain anonymous. These accounts are run by students of all ages from all different schools in the ICCSD. 

One of the most popular accounts is @girlsaticcsd. This account allows all students to share their stories of sexism, sexual harassment, and misogyny they have expierenced within the ICCSD. 

“I started it to provide a safe space for students to report misogyny or sexism, but it kind of turned into reporting sexual harassment, which is okay as well,” said the owner of @girlsaticcsd. @girlsaticcsd decided to remain anonymous for the sake of their safety.

“We’ve gotten over 300 submissions, so I’m glad that we can provide a safe space for young students in our community.”

Another popular account on is @blackaticcsd, where students can share the times when they’ve experienced discrimination or racism. The owner has also decided to remain anonymous.

“I made this account on July 18th and first posted on the 19th. I started the account after I saw Ivy League schools starting similar accounts. I could recall many instances of racism in the district, and I thought we should have a similar account,” said owner of @blackaticcsd. 

“I’m trying to give students of color a voice to speak about their concerns, experiences, and stories. These stories are meant to be heard by people who look like them or have gone through similar experiences. They’re also meant for district faculty to recognize that they aren’t doing a really good job in those areas.”

I’m trying to give students of color a voice to speak about their concerns, experiences, and stories. These stories are meant to be heard by people who look like them or have gone through similar experiences. They’re also meant for district faculty to recognize that they aren’t doing a really good job in those areas”

— @blackaticcsd

“One day,” stated @blackaticcsd, “over the span of five or so hours, I received about a hundred submissions. Most, if not all, were from one person. A troll. Some were racist slurs and others were pushing their political ideologies. I also get a few racial slurs here and there.

“We’ve faced some backlash, such as some people saying they were falsely accused, which is a problem of course. We also receive a lot of hate [such as] direct messages threatening us or hate comments, but we just block them and delete their comments to try and ignore them. I think others should create similar accounts to this one because I feel like every community should have a safe space,” said @girlsaticcsd.

 “I like seeing other Instagram accounts that have been made, such as the @lgbtaticcsd, @girlsaticcsd, @mentalhealthaticcsd (which posts on their story almost daily still), @latinosaticcsd, and @bullyingaticcsd. They are helping to give all different students a platform to share their stories,” said @blackaticcsd.

ICCSD students are utilizing these accounts to share their stories. Emma Johnson, Liberty Junior, shared why she had posted to @girlsaticcsd. 

“My submission was about my freshman year. I was labeled a ‘slut’ based on rumors and the clothes I would wear,” said Johnson. “I feel like these accounts are a safe place to let people share and show others that they’re not alone. As long as the accounts are positive and not breaking Instagram guidelines, I think it’s a great space for us students to talk about the things that happened in or outside of school.”

“A positive of these accounts is that they are a place where we can all have empathy and feel like we can relate to others. A negative would be the false accusations or spread of negativity. I wouldn’t want people to see this page and get ideas on how to be disrespectful or rude, which is what the account is not trying to promote.”

Similar accounts have been created since Instagram first started way back in 2010. These recurring issues are not going to stop because of these accounts but they are providing a safe, non-judgemental space for everyone to share and relate to one another.