Avon students disciplined after inappropriate images distributed

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AVON, Ind.— Several Avon High School students have been placed under disciplinary action in connection with an investigation involving inappropriate social media activity, said school officials Thursday.

Several high school students talked about the incident on Twitter, alleging dozens of students were suspended.

“They were saying the school found out that some people had naked pictures,” said Avon High School senior Nyles Edwards.

He said one by one, dozens of students were called into the principal’s office as school officials searched their cell phones for nude pictures of female students.

“I saw them. They were deleting everything off their phone, getting scared,” he told FOX59. “I even know some kids that left school early today, because of this.”

He explained that it all started when several female students had taken naked pictures of themselves and sent them to some of the male students. Then those students allegedly traded the images like baseball cards via picture messaging and the app called ‘Bump’ which allows quick and easy file sharing between phones.

“Anyone from nerdy girls to popular to everyone just sends a picture and then the guys send it out, trade it basically. They send it to each other,” explained Edwards.

Avon Community School Corporation did not confirm whether its students are in trouble for distributing nude pictures, but it did acknowledge an investigation is underway.

The following statement was sent out Thursday:

Avon Community School Corporation is currently investigating a case involving inappropriate social media activity among high school students. During the investigation, several students have been found in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Appropriate disciplinary action is being taken. In addition, local law enforcement officials are involved with this investigation.

When Avon Community School Corporation receives a request for information pertaining to its student population, specifically educational records and discipline issues, our first priority is to comply with all state and federal laws, specifically the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA deems all information related to educational records, including discipline records, as confidential and it requires school officials to use the utmost discretion in dealing with such requests.

The school sent out a new statement about the case Friday:

We want to provide you with an update on the distribution of inappropriate images found recently on some Avon Community Schools students’ cell phones.

We are working closely with Avon Police Department to identify which students are involved and the extent of the distribution.  In conjunction with Avon Police, prosecutors and our legal counsel, we are cooperating and taking this issue extremely seriously. We are continuing to determine appropriate disciplinary action.

At this point, our most important message to parents, families and students at Avon Community Schools is this—inappropriate behavior at any level will not be tolerated by the District. Schools will be reminding students about the appropriate use of technology and the ethical and legal consequences and ramifications of inappropriate use.

The message to our student body is unequivocal: if we find out you have participated in inappropriate and illegal behavior at any level, it will be dealt with swiftly and appropriately. We will, as always, engage and cooperate with our local law enforcement authorities, including the prosecutor.

At the end of the day, this is not an issue limited to our responsibility. It is the responsibility of parents and students to know what is right and what is wrong in the use of technology. We encourage parents to talk to their children about the appropriate and inappropriate use of technology. 

This is a potentially criminal matter, and inquiries about specifics regarding the number of students involved and the degree of involvement should be directed to Avon law enforcement authorities, with whom we are working closely.

Further inquiries should be directed to the Avon Police Department.