FBI investigating ‘alarming and illegal’ internet posts made by Port Byron students

Local News

PORT BYRON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) The Port Byron Superintendent says the FBI and New York State Police are now investigating what he calls “alarming” and “illegal” posts from students on social media.

Neil O’Brien confronting the issue in a newsletter sent to parents on Friday, urging them to talk to their children and remind them that it is never alright to post nude pictures of themselves or their friends or allow anyone to let them do something that is harmful or violates their personal values or privacy.

The superintendent going on to say:

“At present, the FBI, New York State Police, and Social Sentinel (a security software package we subscribe too) all give us warning signs regarding the content that some of our students are posting on social media.
In the past several weeks, I have seen (or have been advised by law enforcement about) students posting images and words that are alarming and illegal. It is beyond eye-opening to have the FBI involved, but some of the items are exploitative, and will result in prosecution for the adults involved.
I write this week asking for assistance. We frequently speak to the students about the dangers of social media, and have counselors and administrators work with individuals who have been adversely affected by it, but we alone cannot keep up with the issues. There needs to be conversations with and expectations from parents that help ensure that students understand that it is never alright to post nude pictures of yourself or friends. It is never alright to allow someone to make you do something that is harmful, or that violates your personal privacy or values.
This might seem like common sense or just “stating the obvious.” But based on the issues we’ve encountered over the past year, there have been too many instances of our students being involved in inappropriate posting on social media, or involved in other activities that violate personal privacy and, in some cases, the law.
I leave you with two thoughts: One is the fact I have to write in generalities to protect student privacy, and not share too much. The second is that both the volume and the subject matter of these stories would make you cringe and cry. There are far too many of them, and some are just heartbreaking. It can only be arrested when all of us take a stand, and are willing to speak with our kids honestly and from the heart. Having people arrested might mean that someone pays a price, but for the victims, that cost is way too high.”

Neil O’Brien, Superintendent of Schools, Port Bryon School District

This is a developing story. Stick with NewsChannel 9 for updates.

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