5 Indy charter school students suspended for Snapchat sex video

Carpe Diem Charter School in Indianapolis (WTHR file photo)
Sex video circulates at school
Sex video circulates at school

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Five charter school students are on suspension after a sex video surfaced at Carpe Diem Charter on the northwest side Tuesday morning.

Every parent with a student at the school has been notified about what happened. That video was recorded on the second floor of the school forcing the principal to take immediate action. The principal and her staff at Carpe Diem School are looking closely at how to keep a better eye on students between classes.

A 16-year-old male student and a female classmate managed to secretly make a sex video before going to their next class. It happened on the second floor in a secluded area. An innocent student "blew the whistle" after learning the girl in the video started getting threats.

Bwana Clements works as the director of cultural & social services for Carpe Diem. Eventually a staff member shared information about the video with him, which included threats to the girl involved in the incident.

“Because there was a video of her engaged in sexual activity with another student. So she received a message saying if she did not send nude photos that this person would expose her," said Clements.

The school staff learned that the students even shared the video on Snapchat.

The school leader wasted no time getting authorities involved and calling parents.

"We are mandatory reporters and we don't get discretion in that area," Clements said.

Carpe Diem took disciplinary action against a total of five students. Now, as the rest of the student body learns about bad decision making, there are questions about how did the teenagers find enough secrecy at school to make a sex video.

“We are meeting with our staff currently about that," said Clements. “So we have an opportunity to talk to them about social media. We have an opportunity to talk to them about sexuality and human behavior."

The final disciplinary action for the students involved in this case will come after police finalize their investigation. Investigators from IMPD's Cyber Unit will likely look at who shared the sex video with whom. The ages of the students involved can also have an impact on the case.

Carpe Diem staff members are urging parents to use conversations at home about the case as a teachable moments for their children. Especially when it comes to sexual behavior, social media posts and the bystander theory when there is wrongdoing among their peers.

The school is also looking at its class transition process to make sure nothing like this will ever happen again.

School leaders sent a letter home to parents. It read:

"Dear Carpe Diem Parents,

"Yesterday, October 10, 2017, through the actions of a brave and caring student, school staff were notified that a video depicting sexual activity of two students was being circulated on the social media platform Snapchap.

"Staff immediately followed protocol for handling this type of situation. Parents of all participating students were called to the school, law enforcement was called as was Department of Child Services. A member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department acknowledged the thoroughness and diligence of the staff in handling the situation.

"Through extensive interviewing of students and review of electronic exchanges, school staff was able to quickly ascertain the participants in both the original act, as well as those sharing the video via Snapchat. Those students have all received disciplinary actions from the school and are awaiting any necessary action from law enforcement if a crime was committed.

"Carpe Diem Innovative School acknowledges the importance of supervision of students during school hours. We are aggressively addressing strategies to ensure that students are supervised at all times in all areas of the building. We will also address social media safety through additional presentations for staff, parents, and students.

"Carpe Diem is extremely proud of the student who took a stand for another student in this situation. This student exemplifies the type of young people who attend our school. We are also extremely proud of our staff that sprang into action to protect the students involved and supported their families as they move quickly to address the needs of their children."

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