January 22, 2014 - 11:44 AM
KAMLOOPS - ‘Disturbing’ inappropriate material on social media involved a significant amount of high school students in the Kamloops area, media were told today.
School District 73 superintendent Terry Sullivan said a student reported the situation to a staff member last Thursday who found the behaviour disturbing, further escalating it to Sullivan the following day.
Sullivan, along with Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Cheryl Bush, held a press conference today at the school board office following a vague release of information yesterday about an investigation into ‘inappropriate material’ involving youth.
And today they continuted to refuse to disclose any real details. Bush said the investigation is sensitive in nature because it involves minors, and it is too early to comment.
She called inappropriate materials ‘anything where the police are involved’ and said it could include anything from child pornography to threats or harassment.
“We’re not going to get into the specifics,” Bush said.
She would not comment on what social media was used but said it could be more than one. She also wouldn't say what potential charges or disciplinary action could be faced by students.
Sullivan said the situation involved a ‘significant amount’ of high school students from numerous secondary schools in the Kamloops area. He also stayed tight-lipped on whether or not students have been suspended or expelled in relation to the investigation.
“If it appears we are being cautious here, it’s because we are,” Sullivan said. “We’re very mindful of keeping our students safe.”
He did say parents of the students involved have already been contacted and said they have been understanding.
“Adolescence is a time when we test boundaries, we test authority, and we’re looking for new experiences,” he said. “The difficulty we have today is the decisions… could have reaching impacts.... Once something is on the Internet it can be there permanently.”
Sullivan said the district has dealt with inappropriate social media behaviour involving students for years.
“What is disturbing to us is that this type of behaviour seems to be increasing,” he said.
Bush asked parents to have conversations with children about social media and online use and warned those who continue to engage in the material.
“You need to have these conversations with your children.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014