Local teacher uses viral tweet as lesson for students

OSAGE CITY, Kan. (KSNT)  –  A local elementary school teach stepped into the spotlight when a classroom experiment gained international attention.

On Monday, C.J. Marple tweeted “I am a 3rd grade teacher in Kansas. I am trying to teach my class about the power of Twitter and how fast information can spread.” He asked anyone who saw the tweet to retweet it and comment where they were seeing it.

“It’s been eye opening to me. I think we finished with 16 million views,” said Marple. “It was hard to keep them focused sometimes, like during science class they’d be like how many are we up to now.”

Hundreds of thousands of people retweeted Marple including Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet and Fox News anchor Dana Perino. Before the experiment Marple had less than 600 followers. Now, he has nearly 3,000.

The tweet caught the attention of Twitter itself. The social media company sent Marple’s class an animated map to show how and where the tweet spread. I

However, his students got to see a nasty side of social media as well. A writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live attacked Marple for his conservative political views in a series of tweet she later deleted. The attack caught the attention of Fox and Friends who interviewed Marple from his classroom.

Marple said he showed his class the interview. While they understand bullying, he said some of the controversy went over their heads. He hopes to use the experience to teach his students about respect.

“If someone says something to me I’ll say remember when I was talking about this and someone said something mean to me and how did it make me feel. How would it make you feel,” said Marple.

Marple said he’s going to break down the results and use them to teach other subjects, like geography, through out the year.

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