Chatham Central School District Lik to Staff Resources area

Dr. Cheryl Nuciforo, Superintendent

NEWS

Letter from Principal Amy Potter Concerning Students Sharing Innapropriate Photos


January 26, 2017

Dear Parent/Guardian,

This week at Chatham Middle School, we have unfortunately dealt with a situation that involved a few of our students using the social media app Snapchat to share inappropriate self-photos and asking other students to share inappropriate photographs of themselves. At this time, it appears the picture taking took place away from school and mostly involved students who considered themselves to be romantically involved. At least one student showed a picture they had received to another friend at an extra-curricular event. We wanted to make you aware of the situation and let you know that we are investigating the matter and taking steps to resolve it. 

We are working with the students directly involved in this specific situation and their parents, but we are concerned by the apparent perception of young teens that it is appropriate for boyfriends and girlfriends to share nude or partially clothed pictures. This is a concern that has received national attention, and we are dealing with it here in Chatham. It is important for students to realize that once they send a picture, they lose all control over who sees it and how it is used.

Also, sending a picture to someone who does not want it may constitute harassment. In accordance with the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), our school prohibits all forms of harassment - whether at school, online, or otherwise - if that behavior interferes with our ability to provide our students with a safe and healthy learning environment. Students who engage in such behavior can potentially face disciplinary measures at school and possibly even legal consequences. 
 
Because children often do not recognize the consequences of sharing inappropriate pictures of themselves, and because they may not report negative or harmful behavior they experience, particularly behavior they experience online, we recommend that you speak with your child about what is safe and appropriate behavior when using cellphones and social media. If your child has experienced harassment or other concerning behavior from another student, please report it to us. You may do so by speaking to any staff member or by using the Bully Incident Reporting Form available in the main office and on our “Bully Prevention” link at www.chathamcentralschools.com. We thoroughly investigate all reports and take appropriate action where necessary. 

Here at school, we will continue to keep a close eye on our students’ behavior and educate them about safe and appropriate social interactions. We ask that you reinforce this message at home by speaking with your child/children and monitoring their online interactions. As always, the safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority.

Sincerely,

Amy Potter
Principal

 

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