AVON, Ind. - Avon authorities are investigating after they received reports of several Avon High School students who may have been exchanging nude pictures through cellphones and mobile devices.
Some students have been suspended and police said they are working with the school to determine what happened and if any laws were broken. Officials said the situation could result in criminal charges being filed against some students.
School officials seized more than a dozen mobile devices after a parent informed the administration that some of those devices could contain naked photos of female students. By law, the school had to turn over those electronic devices to law enforcement.
Student Nyles Edwards told RTV6 how he thought the whole situation started.
"Naked selfies that girls send in the mirror, they'll take a naked picture send it to one guy and expect he won't send it, then they send it to their friend then it just spreads," Edwards said. "What I really think is, I mean all guys, a lot of them have the photos, and then they switch 'em off like baseball cards and they'll trade 'em and a bunch of guys will keep doing it."
Avon police will use forensic equipment to determine what is on the devices and if any devices contain child pornography.
Authorities said they are doing what they can to minimize potential victimization in the case.
Avon High School parents were notified of the situation through a cellphone alert.
"I was thinking all the kids have a lot of social media on their phone and they send a lot of things around and you know, you send one thing to one person, and it can go to the whole school," parent Jodie Otto said.
The school released a statement Friday morning saying it was investigating a case of inappropriate social media activity among students and several students had been found in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and Student Code of Conduct.
Police said parents should be vigilant with their children’s mobile devices.
Read the entire statement regarding inappropriate social media activity below:
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.
Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1