FROM STAFF REPORTS
JOHNSON CITY — Johnson City Independent School District officials have sent out a warning to parents and are cooperating with federal authorities in a criminal investigation into individuals sharing nude Snapchat photos of minors.
A Blanco County Sheriff’s Office active investigation into “inappropriate photos” prompted the school district to begin communications with parents, educators, and students to halt the “misuse of the social networking app (application) Snapchat and other social media avenues.”
JCISD organized a series of education assemblies, which started March 6, for students in sixth through ninth grades on both middle school and high school campuses.
“As a district, we are concerned for the safety of our students both inside and outside of school hours,” according to a statement by Superintendent Richard Kolek, which he also shared with parents and school staff. “The recent situation involves an unidentified number of JCISD students and others due to the widespread nature of social media.”
Steps taken by the district include:
• On March 6, school officials hosted Child Protective Services for a series of presentations throughout the designated grade levels on the dangers of inappropriate social media use.
• On March 7, the district hosted representatives from the FBI for grade-level presentations “on the predator aspect of social media as well as the potential ramifications for the victim.”
The federal agency is scheduled to present case examples and answer audience questions at 6:30 p.m. March 7 in the Lyndon B. Johnson High School commons venue.
“It is imperative that students and parents understand the dangers and legal ramifications of inappropriate use of social media,” the district statement reads. “The district (has taken) immediate action to educate our students and parents on the potential dangers of Snapchat and other social media avenues.”
The Blanco County Sheriff’s Office investigation is focused on individuals who are soliciting inappropriate photos, according to the district statement.
The FBI and Child Protective Services are assisting the sheriff’s office with the investigation.