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Students at a California high school had their phones confiscated and searched under threat of suspension after one student took nude photos of a school administrator at an off-campus gym. The student who took the photos was arrested and has now been expelled, but the families of some of the students who shared the pictures think they have been punished too severely.
Criminal defense attorney Sara Azari joins The Doctors to discuss this case. She notes that everyone has a right to privacy, including high-school students. There are two issues here – the phone the perpetrator used to take the photos and share them on Snapchat, and those of his classmates who merely received the images from him.
ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork wonders how schools cope at all now that students have cell phones – the devices are a distraction in class and make bullying and gossip easier than ever. And how can the victimized administrator ever get these images removed from circulation now?
Sara agrees that it’s a real problem. Increasingly images of people taken without their knowledge or consent – or misused after the fact – are showing up on the Internet. Although states are passing statutes to deal with “revenge porn” and similar problems, they can be hard to enforce.
The school in question was not able to comment on the story because the legal investigation is ongoing.