Wakefield High School Protests Return Of Student Who Posted 'Inappropriate' Photos Of Teen Girls Online

Photo: Twitter
Wakefield Highschool students and parents protesting

A student at Wakefield Highschool in Massachusetts was suspended after school officials discovered he had taken inappropriate photos of teen girls at the school and posted them online.

The photos were taken unknowingly and without consent and were posted on Discord, where he attempted to sell some of them and asked others to “rate” the girls.

Parents of Wakefield students have been protesting over the photos.

13 girls had hundreds of photos taken of them without their knowledge — many of the photos were taken of their backsides, upskirts, and at the school’s beach day.

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One of the girls’ fathers said, “I refer to the young man as a sexual predator. I’m not talking about innocent, candid photos. I’m talking about photos that are inappropriate.”

The father asked not to be identified because his daughter is now a victim of online bullying and sexual harassment.

He said, however, that as many as seven other girls were involved in the photographs and that the school district did not tell parents what his punishment is or what the plan is to keep him away from the girls he photographed.

School officials sent out an email last Thursday to parents, assuring them that they were handling the situation and were working with Wakefield Police once they learned of the images.

“We want to reassure you that extensive steps have been taken to maintain a safe school environment,” the email said.

“We will continue to promptly and proactively address any threat to the privacy, safety, and well-being of our students. This is still an active case with the Wakefield Police Department, and we remain fully committed to supporting the police department’s ongoing work.”

Unfortunately, many parents and students don’t feel like the student has faced any harsh punishments after parents were told that the student would return to school on Monday.

The student was only suspended for a couple of days.

“We understand he’s entitled to an education, but unfortunately at this point, we think the education should be elsewhere,” said parent Robert Imbriano to WBZ.

Many parents and students share Imbriano’s thoughts and beliefs that the student should face much harsher punishment like being expelled.

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“We’re fearful that in two weeks we’ll be getting an email that the student will be returning and then we’re going to have to go through this all again,” Imbriano added. “The girls will have to go through this again. A lot of these girls have suffered a lot of mental anguish.”

According to the school administration, an internet safety expert will be coming into the school to work with the students in the coming months, but that isn’t enough.

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“We shouldn’t have to be fighting for something that is just a human civil right, to feel safe in education and yes, he has a right to education, but I believe it does not have to take place at Wakefield High School,” said student Izzy Buckley.

On Friday, the superintendent of Wakefield Schools, Douglas Lyons, shared a statement about the protests with Boston 25.

“The steps we’ve taken to address this behavior so far have aligned with our policies and procedures around student discipline, and we are working closely with the Wakefield Police Department to support law enforcement’s work related to this incident,” he said.

“I am cognizant of the concern and frustration many in our community feel about this incident, but state and federal privacy rules place limits on how much we can share about this incident publicly. Still, I want to reassure all of our stakeholders that we are committed to working to ensure our students feel physically and emotionally safe in school.”

There have been protests at the school ever since the email was sent out on Thursday as parents feared that he would be returning to school Monday, before being told in an email that he wouldn’t be returning that day — adding to the frustration of parents who want to know when exactly he would be returning, and how their doling out his punishment.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.