Published March 17, 2008
| Newscorp Australian Papers
Police have reprimanded dozens of students at an Australian high school after a girl was filmed performing a sex act on a classmate and the footage was distributed to more than 100 other students.
Horrified relatives of the 15-year-old girl called New South Wales police after becoming aware she had been filmed and the footage had been sent to dozens of classmates at Woonona High School.
Police visited the school last week and questioned a number of students, The Daily Telegraph reported.
But detectives were thwarted from proceeding because students had deleted the footage from their phones after being addressed by the principal.
The girl told police the act had been consensual and she did not wish to file a complaint.
A Department of Education spokesman said yesterday that the principal was cooperating with police.
He said the incident had been filmed outside the school grounds.
The principal was in the Blue Mountains yesterday and unavailable for comment.
"The police are investigating the matter," the department spokesman said. "The department will not be making further comment while the police investigation is ongoing."
A student who received the footage told The Daily Telegraph Sunday that police had threatened to confiscate students' phones.
"Just about everyone has seen it," the girl said.
A police spokesman said yesterday officers had visited the school after a complaint from the girl's family.
The family had been distressed by the incident, which occurred on March 3, he said.
Although detectives had intended to charge the students, all under 16, who filmed and distributed the footage, there was no evidence to pursue.
Parents said yesterday the incident underlined the dangers of mobile phones in schools.
"It's disgusting, really," one mother who did not want to be named said.