Avon Schools confiscate student phones - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Avon Schools confiscate student phones after "inappropriate activity"

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A smartphone app allows students to conceal inappropriate photos. A smartphone app allows students to conceal inappropriate photos.
AVON -

The Avon Community School Corporation says it's investigating a case of "inappropriate social media activity" involving high school students.

It was the talk of Avon High School Thursday.

"The question of the day was, 'Have you deleted your nudes?'" said Janelle Bruce, a freshman at Avon High School.

Nude pictures, some of them, according to Avon Police, were of 14- and 15-year-old female students at Avon High School. School administrators found the questionable photos on at least 16 students' cell phones.

The school questioned students, confiscated the phones and turned it all over to Avon Police.

By first period, students were already talking about what had happened.

"This is a big deal, like, I found out first period so...yeah, it was pretty bad," Bruce added.

The incident wasn't just an embarrassing social mishap, though, giving way to gossip. Avon Police said some of the students involved could face criminal charges of having and sharing child pornography.

"Kids these days don't realize the consequences of, you know, just sending a photo or, you know, the consequences that are going to follow," said Bruce's mother, Jennifer Grant.

Avon Police said the students involved used a smart phone app called "Digit Calc" to hide their questionable photos.

To parents and outsiders, Digi-Calc looks like a calculator. Type in a passcode and hit equals and there they are, photos hidden for your eyes only.

"Kids are sometimes smarter than the parents with technology, but just being a parent knowing what your kids are doing 24/7 is important,' added Grant.

Parents say it's an important reminder to have a talk with their children about social media. Avon parent Sonny Reyes says he's already discussed the issue with this two high school-aged daughters.

"I just told them be careful on what they post on that and they'll regret it if they put in there the things they don't want to put in there," said Reyes.

It seems Reyes' daughter has gotten the message.

"I would never post things like that," said Kirsten Reyes, a freshman at Avon. "I know to not post anything like that to social media or to any guy, actually."

Apparently though, it's a lesson other Avon High School students are now learning the hard way.

The district issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:

"Avon Community School Corporation is currently investigating a case involving inappropriate social media activity among high school students. During the investigation, several students have been found in violation of the Acceptable Use Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Appropriate disciplinary action is being taken. In addition, local law enforcement officials are involved with this investigation.

When Avon Community School Corporation receives a request for information pertaining to its student population, specifically educational records and discipline issues, our first priority is to comply with all state and federal laws, specifically the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA deems all information related to educational records, including discipline records, as confidential and it requires school officials to use the utmost discretion in dealing with such requests."

Avon police said, so far, no one has been arrested. Investigators told Eyewitness News the department will use its forensic tools to go through each phone and determine if possession of and distributing child pornography charges are warranted against any of the students involved.

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