KINGS PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two 14-year-old students have been arrested and as many as 20 more suspended at schools in Kings Park, Long Island after a sexually-explicit video was spread around through cell phones.
But some parents say their children were unfairly dragged into the scandal and have been punished with suspensions — without doing anything wrong.
The superintendent’s office said they’ve been dealing with several incidents at the Kings Park High School and William T. Rogers Middle School involving inappropriate pictures.
The Suffolk County Police are investigating an encounter between a male and female student that was recorded away from school, but was distributed electronically.
But Andrew Fenton, a frustrated father, said that his son, who was not directly involved with the incident, was suspended for two days.
“Somebody forwarded a video to his phone, that he has no control over receiving it,” Fenton told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones. “They have no answers to any of this, just suspend whomever they want.”
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Thomas Phelan, another parent whose child was suspended for receiving the video, also expressed anger — saying some students were “railroaded.”
“My son was an unwilling participant,” Phelan told CBS2. “He didn’t give anybody permission or authority to send this over to him. Everybody just gets stuff sent to their phones. That’s why I think this is ridiculous — my son did not view it.”
St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington sent out a letter to parents asking them to check their children’s cell phones for explicit materials in response to the Kings Park incident.
“This, and all other inappropriate use of phones, texting and social media can cause irreparable damage to your sons and daughters and others,” the statement said.
Parents said their children were suspended after being forced to sign witness statements, and said that they weren’t told what was happening until after their children were disciplined.
“They never contacted us while this was going on. They contacted us after just to pick their phone up,” one parent said.
The two students involved in the incident were charged with disseminating indecent material to minors, promoting a sexual performance by a child — both Class D felonies — and sexual abuse in the 3rd degree, a misdemeanor, according to police.
They are scheduled to appear in family court at a later date, police said.