Police investigate distribution of sexual images by Stonington High students

Stonington — Police and school officials say they are investigating a small group of Stonington High School students who possessed and distributed sexual images depicting a few female classmates.

Capt. Todd Olson said Thursday night all the students being investigated have been cooperative and police have in their possession several electronic devices involved in the incident. He declined to say if any of the students will be charged, as detectives are continuing their investigation and interviewing students.

Olson, who declined to detail what the images depict, said they contain “inappropriate content.”

In a letter to parents and guardians Thursday night, High School Principal Mark Friese said the incidents involved sexting — which involves the “sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs or images, primarily between mobile phones” — at the school.

Superintendent of Schools Van Riley said Thursday night that a student brought the issue to the attention of a teacher and the school administration. He said students will be disciplined but could not detail what will happen, as the school is still investigating.

Olson praised detectives for doing a “great job” as they “try to minimize the distribution of the content that they have discovered.”

“The school is taking this very seriously,” Olson added.

Friese said that the families of the small number of students involved have been contacted.

“As you can imagine, the sensitivity of this type of investigation is most important as we are dealing with adolescents. The safety and emotional well being of our students is our top priority. With that said, we as a community need to exercise discretion and not make this the topic of online discussion groups that could be more damaging to our kids,” he wrote.

“I encourage all parents and guardians to have a discussion with your children about the ramifications of these behaviors. We have in the past and will continue to have frank and open discussions with our students to protect them and to minimize this type of electronic activity. If you have any concern about your child, do not hesitate to contact their school counselor or administration,” he wrote.


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