Updated: November 22, 2019 06:18 PM
Created: November 22, 2019 05:47 PM
School officials in the Shenendehowa School District are investigating two disturbing incidents involving student misconduct. First, an in-classroom fight that allegedly took place on Monday. Second, inappropriate photos taken of a student as she undressed in a locker room.
"I, like other moms in the community, got wind of it immediately as it was happening through our children who were receiving instantaneous news on social media, Snapchat, Instagram," said Denise Resta-Tobin.
Resta-Tobin is an attorney who was contacted by the victim's family in the photo incident. Resta-Tobin told NewsChannel 13 her client is a 14-year-old girl. Making it even more disturbing the girl has autism. Resta-Tobin says another female student took pictures of her client as she was undressing in the gym locker room.
"They were horrified," Resta-Tobin said of the girl's parents. "I'm guessing because of the age of the student of the perpetrator it will probably end up in criminal court and we will be seeking restraining orders from this child to protect my client and her family."
School and district officials have said disciplinary actions are being taken. Citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, they say they cannot disclose exactly what those actions are.
Saratoga County Sheriff's Office has confirmed they are involved in the investigation. Resta-Tobin says her clients have also contacted State Police.
In a message sent to district parents on Thursday, the district called the photo incident and an unrelated fight that was recorded and circulated on social media as well "extremely troubling with regard to student behavior."
Resta-Tobin says these increased incidents of cyberbullying and violence demand immediate attention.
"Things are happening in real time. These things are going live onto social media and the school district I don't think knows what to do with that, but they need to figure it out. Because they have to be accountable," she said.
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