Redbank Valley Believes It Acted Swiftly When Informed of ‘Inappropriate’ SnapChat Photo on Sunday

| March 5, 2019

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT) – The Redbank Valley School District acted swiftly on Sunday and Monday when informed of what it termed an “inappropriate” photo that was posted on the social media platform SnapChat.

“Sunday afternoon it was brought to the attention of the school district that an inappropriate photo was posted on SnapChat,” Redbank Valley Superintendent John Mastillo wrote in a letter that was posted on the district’s Facebook page. “Details of this situation will not be specific. The lack of specifics is due to confidentiality and potential criminal charges.”

Mastillo said as soon as the photo was shared with the school district, the district immediately notified law enforcement.

“Information was shared, including the photo and the alleged student who posted the photo,” Mastillo wrote in the letter. “The investigation led to numerous students being contacted and questioned by the local police department regarding their involvement and the origination of the photo.”

Mastillo wrote that the original photo was obtained along with the student responsible for taking the photo.

“The police are working to separate the names of the students whose names were mentioned in various social media platforms but did not have any involvement,” Mastillo wrote.

In his letter, Mastillo wrote that it was determined on Sunday evening that the photo posting didn’t pose a safety and security issue to Redbank Valley students and staff, but that the district made arrangements to ensure an added presence of security and law enforcement was in place for Monday morning.

“There is no reason to indicate that the posting of this photo placed students and staff at risk,” Mastillo wrote. “Had the police determined any level of risk, the district would have canceled classes and taken different preventative actions. It is the district’s responsibility to ensure the safety and security of your child(ren), the district’s staff and visitors to our campus.”

Mastillo told exploreClarion that he believed the district acted “swiftly” and took the “appropriate steps” to ensure students and staff were arriving at a “safe and secure” building.

In his letter to the community, Mastillo said that because the photo didn’t pose a safety and security issue, and because it was believed the information wasn’t widespread across the district, a decision was made to not initiate a “one call.”

“However, based on the response (Monday) morning from the community with phone calls to the police, staff, and the school, I ensure you that if presented with future events, whether true or false, you will receive information in a timely manner,” Mastillo wrote.

Mastillo also told exploreClarion that the district is trying to give the community as much information as it can and that updates will most likely be available as the investigation continues.

“Because of confidentiality and pending charges, we aren’t able to give a lot of information out,” Mastillo said. “I wish I could give more, but we are trying to clear students’ names who were not involved, and we will probably have more updates. I encourage you to follow our Facebook feed when those come available.”

Officer Clark, of the New Bethlehem Police Department, told exploreVenango.com, “We take every incident seriously, and it is under investigation. However, it is not a threat.”


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Category: Local News, News, Schools