Locker-room phone photo of Lakeville middle schooler reportedly shared among students

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A possibly X-rated photo of a Lakeville middle schooler has reportedly made the rounds at Century.
Give rambunctious adolescents camera phones what do you get? A big, messy scandal, that's what!

Numerous students at Lakeville's Century Middle School have been suspended after a student snapped an inappropriate photo of another student with a phone, then shared the image with fellow students.

A 7th grader at Century says the "rumor going around" is that 61 students have been suspended, three expelled, and all but one of the suspended students in 8th grade. But otherwise tight-lipped school administrators say less than 50 students have been punished as a result of the scandal.

The Star Tribune reports that "chatter among Lakeville students on Twitter" suggests the scandal began when one female student snapped an "inappropriate" photo of another in a locker room, then sent it to other students. Some students took to social media to crack jokes about friends and relatives who had been suspended after school officials caught wind that the photo had been shared around campus.

According to the Pioneer Press, school administrators became aware on Monday that students were possibly violating a fellow student's privacy electronically. The school released a statement this week saying "we are very limited in what we can communicate as a result of legal requirements and concern for the adolescent students involved," but added that "appropriate actions were taken to address this situation."

Lakeville Police Chief Tom Vonhof said his department is investigating the situation. The students responsible for disseminating the Lakeville photo could face criminal consequences -- in Washington state, three students were charged with disseminating child pornography after passing on nude photos of a classmate that went viral. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanors for telephone harassment.

Meanwhile, the 7th grader at Century says that in the wake of the scandal, teachers and administrators have been warning students over, and over, and over again about the risks of using technology inappropriately.

"There's been like 20,000 talks about using electronics appropriately during class," she says.

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12 comments
swmnguy
swmnguy

Minneapolis Public Schools allow cell phones, as long as they're off and not in the classroom.  If they ring or are visible, they are confiscated and returned at the end of the day the first two times.  The third time, a parent has to come in to get the phone.  It's a pretty reasonable policy.  My son turns his phone off once he gets to school, and turns it back on as he's leaving.  I've called during school hours to check on him, and it goes straight to VM, so he's following the rules.

This isn't really about technology anyway.  It's about appallingly bad judgment, as one might expect from 8th graders.  Somebody got their immature, sadistic jollies from this.  When I was in school 35 years ago, there were kids who did things exactly like this, even though we didn't have camera phones.  Would this be a less nasty incident if it had been done with an old Polaroid camera than a cell phone?  If a kid were surfing the web during class on an iPod Touch would that be OK because it wasn't a cell phone?

The school district seems to be handling this the right way.  Massive consequences for everyone involved.  It's about widespread bullying, which is an ancient problem.  There's no need to make new rules in a futile attempt to keep up with technology.  The point is to teach kids to regulate behavior; as it has been since ancient times.

Sparky
Sparky

How about just inventing in a few $100 cell phone jammers and installing them in locker rooms and bathrooms.......

Mike W.
Mike W.

Schools have tried to do that and guess who bitches the most - parents!  Because if the need to get ahold of little Johnny or Susie, RIGHT NOW, they need the phones to do that.  A couple years ago Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton h.s. tried to to a total ban and guess what, the parents raised a stink.

Dr. J
Dr. J

This is why we should hate kids.

Jeff Fecke
Jeff Fecke

Great. My daughter starts there in about 15 months....

jrc
jrc

I know that in MPS and SPPS schools allow all students to carry cell phones.  Its a huge problem but parents complain that they need to be able to get in touch with their kids.  Apparently calling the school and getting a message through the old fashioned way is too cumbersome for most parents to handle. 

PutSomeRanchOnIt
PutSomeRanchOnIt

Evil damn kids. I can't believe this doesn't happen all the time when adolescents have cameras in their pockets everywhere they go.

Elizabeth Summers Boucher
Elizabeth Summers Boucher

How about we take the cell phones away during school hours?  Who among us is surprised that "the electronics are being used inappropriately"? 

Jim
Jim

Is it wrong for 8th graders to take pics in locker rooms and send them around?  Of course.  

It is bullying and should be dealt with.  Expelled seems like an over-reaction.  Suspended for a week on 1st offense seems about right to me.  Maybe on 2nd or 3rd offense expelling a kid would make sense.

Is it child porn?  No.  Applying child porn laws to something this stuff is just plain stupid. 

Also, there are phones without cameras.  If I were the parent of the 8th grader involved in this incident and I wanted her to have a phone so I could reach her, that kid would get a dumb-phone until she was 18.

Aaron
Aaron

I would guess that cell phones are already prohibited.

jack_sprat
jack_sprat

@Jim It may well be that that girl has been so humiliated that her life has been destroyed. I'm assuming that the girl didn't voluntarily pose for it, of course. So, what was the motivation? Ridicule? Slut-shaming?

Kids commit both suicide and murder for  such things.

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