Several students in Clayton County, GA have been behaving badly during digital learning classes and the school district is fed up.
School officials told CBS46 Friday the district will not tolerate bad behavior in the classroom or during digital learning after a number of incidents went viral.
“We’re seeing bullying, we’re seeing threats, we’re seeing nudity…Pornographic material,” said Chief Thomas Y. Tarwick Jr., Chief of Safety and Security at Clayton County schools.
Administrators said while students are learning virtually at home, they are still expected to follow the same code of conduct that is enforced on school grounds.
“If we see something that’s threatening or grossly out of the ordinary what we’re doing is we’re sending officers over and we’re having some conversations,” Chief Tarwick explained.
If the bad behavior continues, the district said students know what to expect.
“There will be penalties. There can be adjudication if we see behavior that’s consistent with violations of the law,” Chief Tarwick warned.
Two days after the school year began in August the Henry County School district was inundated with complaints. The police department wrote last Tuesday in an ominous Facebook post they will find students who are streaming pornography in online classes and they will face “life-altering charges.”
“We’re 24 hours in, and I’m over it,” the post warned.
“Talk to your kids. This is not a joke. They could face manufacture and distribution of child pornography charges, child molestation charges, and have to register as a sex offender.” The post has since been removed.
“We’re seeing the students logging in on their phones and sharing their screens from there, or just holding other screens up to the webcam,” the police explained.
They urged parents to engage their digitally-proficient children with face-to-face conversations.
“Talk to your kids,” the department said in the Facebook post, which included information from the Official Code of Georgia.
“Distributing Obscene Material (16-12-80), Distributing Obscene Material depicting nudity or sexual conduct (16-12-81), Child Molestation (16-6-4), Sexual exploitation of children (the production/distribution of child pornography) (16-12-100).”
Henry County Schools spokesperson John Hardin said last Tuesday in a statement to 11Alive a high school student posted “inappropriate imagery” during an online learning session.
“It was brought to our attention that a high school student in our district was found to have shared inappropriate imagery during one of our remote classes,” Hardin said. “The isolated matter was investigated by administrators and law enforcement officials, and appropriate action is now being taken according to code of conduct violations and laws broken.”
Any inappropriate behavior of students on their digital platforms are subject to disciplinary action, Hardin added.
He also explained that the school system is not involved in the posting of information relating to their local law enforcement partners.
“We have a process for disseminating information to our school communities to protect student identities, information, and the disciplinary process,” Hardin said.