DENVER (CBS4) – Canon City School District will host a community meeting Thursday evening to address concerns over several students sending and spreading images containing nudity.
Daily Record News reports the district released information Wednesday regarding several students sharing inappropriate photos, prompting police involvement and the forfeit of the school’s weekend football game.
“A number of our students have engaged in behavior where they take and pass along pictures of themselves that expose private parts of their bodies or their undergarments,” the district’s press release stated, as reported by Daily Record.
The Canon City Police Department is now looking into the photos. According to the press release, Class 3 felony charges can be filed against a person showing naked private body parts and sending them to another person. Individuals who receive, save, and send the photos may also be in trouble with the law.
The investigation is meant to “determine if any adults were involved, and to determine whether any photos were coerced. Formal charges will be determined by the DA’s office,” according to the district’s news release.
“Because a large number of our high school football players were implicated in this behavior the coaching staff and administration, after careful thought and consideration, decided that stepping on the field to play this weekend to represent the Canon City community is just not an option,” Superintendent George Welsh said in the release. “We realize this decision will unfairly penalize many of our fine, young men who clearly did not participate in these actions. However, we concluded it was impossible to safely field an entire team representative of the personal qualities and characteristics that truly represent the history of the Canon City High School football program.”
Officials say that inappropriate photos have likely been circulating for years as many students who have already graduated are pictured in the images. Welsh says he does not believe district staff or adults were involved in the scandal, but that the investigation is ongoing.
The Canon City varsity football team has been particularly impacted by allegations as the team is still in season. The press release indicates that not all players participated in the behavior and that the community be asked “not to paint every kid on that team for the decisions of some.” It is however, speculated, that the majority of team members knew what was going on.
Welsh added that the scandal “runs deep” and that the stuff is trying to deal with the controversy.
Welsh said the pictures stayed hidden for so long because students used a special app on their cell phones to send the images.
The photos reportedly involved students of both genders from eighth grade to seniors in high school. Police and school officials continue to investigate.