WAKEFIELD (CBS) — A large group of parents and students gathered outside Wakefield High School on Friday morning to protest the return of a student who they believe is a danger to others. The boy allegedly took inappropriate photos of about a dozen girls without them knowing and posted them on social media.
Signs that read “school should feel safe” and “how would you feel if it were your daughter?” were held by members of the crowd.
According to the parents of some of the girls, there were hundreds of these pictures found on Discord in October. The post called for users to rank the photos and some were for sale.
“They were very inappropriate pictures, some were taken at beach day, some were taken inside of the classroom, mostly pictures of their backsides,” said parent Lisa Auffrey. “This has been emotionally taxing for them. It has been a huge disruption.”
“These pictures were taken without their consent, they didn’t even know what was going on,” parent Robert Imbriano said. “From the beginning, it was very traumatic for my daughter.”
The student who is accused of taking the photos will return to school on Monday, parents told WBZ-TV. They are concerned about him being back in the building and feel he hasn’t faced harsh enough consequences.
“We understand he’s entitled to an education, but unfortunately at this point, we think the education should be elsewhere,” said Imbriano.
Parents are also frustrated with a lack of communication from school officials.
“This is a month ago, this came to light and the superintendent is just releasing a statement now?” Auffrey questioned.
School officials send an email to parents on Thursday, saying they immediately began working with Wakefield Police when they learned of this student’s serious and inappropriate use of social media in October.
They wrote: “We want to reassure you that extensive steps have been taken to maintain a safe school environment. We will continue to promptly and proactively address any threat to the privacy, safety, and well-being of our students. This is still an active case with the Wakefield Police Department, and we remain fully committed to supporting the police department’s ongoing work.”
An internet safety expert will be working with students in the coming months.
“I think the school disappointed us and disrespected all the girls here for our safety,” said one student.
“All the girls stood up and talked to the school and they didn’t do anything. They’re trying to make themselves look good in a way and it is really frustrating for all of us who don’t feel safe in the school,” another girl said.
Parents said they plan to hold another protest at the high school on Monday morning.