CHICAGO — While the Chicago Teacher’s Union strike raged on, divided Chicagoans engaged in a venomous war of words on social media. The “thugs” chastised the “idiots” over a union contract dispute that pitted heroes against liars, if you’re supposed to believe such vicious hyperbole. Anyone who dared to offer up an opinion risked suffering personal attacks from gangs of anonymous Twitter trolls rallying to eviscerate rivals — tagging foes as greedy socialists, teacher-hating, Trump-supporting right-wingers or worse — disciples of former Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Even after city leaders and the CTU on Thursday settled their contract dispute with five-year deal with a 16 percent pay hike and contract terms that aim to reduce class size and put a nurse and social worker in every school, the brutal bickering continued. All the while, so many Chicago kids caught in the middle watched on their smart phones as neighbors engaged in an often vile us-against-them battle over conflicting perspectives, opinions and ideas that bordered on bullying. A lot of those kids know a thing or two about how online attacks can cause devastating emotional pain. School-age bullying on social media has become a nationwide epidemic linked to anxiety, depression and suicide…. Read full this story
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