Jefferson County Public Schools officials are investigating an incident that could involve multiple students and schools. An unknown number of female JCPS high school students were victimized when inappropriate photos of them were posted on the Instagram social media platform Thursday, officials say.
JCPS spokesman Ben Jackey tells Insider Louisville the administration became aware of the incidents today and immediately began talking with the affected students. He says an unknown number of female JCPS students had been victimized by having inappropriate photos posted on the site by an unknown perpetrator.
The photos involved students at more than one JCPS high school, he says, adding that the JCPS security department was notified, as well as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit.
“It involves more than one school, but we don’t want to identify the schools because it could lead to increased searches on Instagram,” Jackey says.
JCPS is attempting to identify the perpetrator who posted the photos, Jackey says, and he does not know whether it was done by a JCPS student. Charges could include cyber bullying or harassment.
The district is recommending that all JCPS middle and high schools send letters home with students on Friday, notifying them of the incident and encouraging parents to discuss the perils of social media with their children.
“We are going to advise that all middle and high schools send home a letter advising that it’s happened,” he says. “It’s horrible that it’s happening but it’s not uncommon. We want parents to reinforce the message about responsible use of social media. There are some positive uses for social media, but it’s incumbent on adults to teach our kids how to use it responsibly.”
The issue will be discussed with students in schools on Friday.
“We have to approach it from a disciplinary standpoint,” he says. “We will be interviewing students who have been victimized and try to locate the perpetrator.”