Published May 21, 2008
SANTA FE, Texas – Police in a Galveston County, Texas, school district have been confiscating dozens of cell phones from students after nude pictures of two junior high girls began circulating, the district superintendent said.
"Those students forwarded the images and the circle opened up and got wider and wider," Superintendent Jon Whittemore said Tuesday.
He said that it all started when two Santa Fe Junior High School students took nude photos of themselves and sent them to their boyfriends. The boyfriends forwarded the photos to others, who in turn forwarded them again, he said.
Administrators in this Galveston County district began confiscating phones after learning about the photos circulating at the junior high, which has about 700 students.
"We were checking the phones and, in some cases, asked the parents to come up and claim the phones," Whittemore told the Houston Chronicle for its Wednesday editions.
He said that the two girls and the boys who forwarded the photos will be first in line for disciplinary action. But he said so many students received the images that it would be impossible to discipline them all.
He declined to say how many cell phones were confiscated or what sort of disciplinary action might be taken.
Whittemore told The Galveston County Daily News for its Wednesday editions that cell phones are forbidden on campus, but many students bring them to class anyway.
In November, five eighth-grade students at Alvin Junior High School were suspended after one of them took a cell phone photo of a 13-year-old girl coming out of a shower. That photo was taken by a female student during a sleepover at a girlfriend's home. The student sent the photo to her boyfriend, who sent it to his friends.