McIntosh caught “lacking;” students, be aware of the law

Popular social media account can be damaging to self-esteem, mental health and friendships


Mikayla Carrino, Staff Writer

Walking the halls of McIntosh, students check notifications on social media. You walk into class and everyone looks up… at you.

Your stomach drops, and suddenly it’s hard to breathe. The fear sets in. They know something you don’t know yet.
And then your friend texts you “check mcintosh caught lacking.”

Your pulse is going very fast and you look around to see everyone staring at you – looks of disgust, of sympathy, of pity. The teacher’s back is turned and you grab your phone.

As you wait for Instagram to load, you think maybe it’s about your friend, but as the moment’s pass, you start to wonder if it was something you did a few days ago, something private but was posted publicly.
The image loads. It’s you.

It’s something you would rather not have your peers and teachers see.

Earlier this year, some students gathered pictures and videos of McIntosh students and posted them on social media without the consent of those in the images or videos. A search of “Caught Lacking” accounts on Instagram and TikTok shows there are various middle and high schools with similar accounts. Images of students in the bathroom, students eating, students in embarrassing positions, such as bending down to pick up an object.

It’s a weird invasion of privacy and embarrassing…

— AJ Evans

The trend ended up at McIntosh and the Instagram account was called “mhs_caught.lackinggg,” although similar accounts with differing names have existed and then been disabled. That account, now disabled, was reported and taken down multiple times, and included videos and photos of McIntosh students in potentially incriminating situations. Such content could be considered entertainment to some but cyberbullying to others.

Sophomore AJ Evans thinks that this type of account, and others like it, leans more toward the content being cyberbullying.

“[When it happened to me] it’s a weird invasion of privacy and embarrassing. Anytime someone posts something of you it’s meant to be embarrassing, but [on] this account it’s always something you don’t want to be posted,” Evans said. “It’s annoying when people post about you, especially when people don’t tell you and you have to find it. I don’t exactly care about it but all the pictures that have been posted on there were kind of meant to make you look stupid.”

Such posts can be harmful to students’ mental health.

If it’s continuous, we would call that cyberbullying.

— Maggie Walls, Principal

“My friend was once posted [on McIntosh Caught Lacking] and slowly after I would sit in class and notice a changeable difference in her mental health. She didn’t like when people took pictures of her so she was constantly worried after that someone was taking a photo of her,” sophomore Addy Blair said.
Athletic Director Leon Hammond saw the account and started finding out who the student or students were recording and taking photos to stop the action.

“When we get reports, we try to address them to figure out who the student has affected and where it happened so we can look at the situation on camera,” Hammond said.

Students should be aware of both the Fayette County Board Of Education’s policies and Georgia’s laws on recording consent.

Page 27 of Fayette County Board Of Education’s Student Code of Conduct states why students can’t photograph and students sign and return the document at the start of every school year.
“I will ask a teacher’s permission before giving out any personal information (including photos) online about myself or any other person. I will also get permission from any other person involved. Personal information includes name, address, email address, phone numbers, and photos.”

Additionally, Georgia law could apply in “caught lacking” situations. According to Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A)GA Code § 42-1-18 (2019), “No individual shall intentionally photograph a minor without the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.” (b.

MHS Principal Maggie Walls doesn’t approve of students being posted online without their consent and she knows the consequences for students who do that at McIntosh High School.
“If it’s continuous, we would call that cyberbullying. You could get long-term OSS and we could possibly kick you out [of McIntosh High School],” Walls said.

Senior Ivey Eatherton was never “caught lacking” but sees how some of her peers now act at McIntosh High School.

“I think the majority of the things posted are immature and it reflects on the person’s character,” Eatherton said.

Reasorce Officer Brandon Weathersby did give the student running the account a warning about the students behavior which led it to be taken down.

“They can get charged and possibly arrested for bullying, so I have gone onto [McIntosh Caught Lacking] to warn the person running the account and I have gotten them to take things down. I have pretty much threatened that I was going to charge them. I have contacted Instagram and they will tell me where the IP address is coming from. This isn’t entertainment that MHS will tolerate,” Weathersby said.