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05-27-06, 10:17 AM #1
1 High School full of students, 2 students in a sex act in class, as 1 records it
2 students in a sex act, one student video taping it, the other students in the class watching, and possibly a teacher........
The link does not allow copy and paste, so I have provided the link to the news story:
05-28-06, 06:55 PM #2
ST. THOMAS - V.I. Education Department officials have suspended the two Charlotte Amalie High School students who engaged in sex acts during a class and also suspended their classmate who made a video of their activity and distributed it.
Deputy Superintendent Lisa Hassel-Forde said the teacher of the home economics class during which the video was recorded has not been suspended because school officials have not determined whether the teacher was in the classroom when the sex acts occurred.
CAHS vice principal Eric Blake on Thursday afternoon filed a police report about the video, which was recorded last week.
The students shown in the video are minors engaged in a sex act, which by definition means the video is child pornography. Its production and distribution constitute serious territorial and federal crimes, police said Wednesday.
Police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Hannah did not return calls Thursday evening about what the department's next steps would be.
The 36-second video, titled "cahs porn," shows a girl straddling a boy at a school desk with her legs spread in the air. The sexual activity between the pair is visible in the video from several angles.
The audio picks up the sounds of other students in the class and what sounds like an adult's voice. The Daily News received reports that the voice belongs to the teacher of the class.
Hassel-Forde declined to provide the teacher's name or say whether he or she was present.
"We're investigating that," she said. "We're extremely disturbed by the incident."
CAHS administrators plan to hold an assembly for the school's 1,650 students before the close of the school year so that officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can make a presentation on cyber and Internet crimes.
Several people told The Daily News that the video has been posted on the Internet, but that was not verified on Thursday.
The three students involved in creating the pornography will receive counseling as soon as dates can be arranged with their parents, Hassel-Forde said.
"More in keeping with what has happened, we're concerned not just with punitive action but more with support for all students involved in the incident," she said.
Although teachers, parents and many students were shocked by the video and what it showed, V.I. advocates who work with local youth said they were not surprised that sexual activity took place in a classroom.
Kidscope founder and program director Dilsa Capdeville said that children are sexually socialized at distressingly young elementary school ages as television, movies, music and peers force graphic terms and images upon them.
"For two students to feel comfortable enough to do that among themselves - but in a group setting with others watching? Children are very bold and can talk about sex very graphically," she said. "If a lot of those kids stayed there, like I heard, I don't believe they were shocked."
Clema Lewis, co-director of the Women's Coalition of St. Croix, said students have told her of even worse lewd conduct on school campuses.
Lewis said that when she visits classrooms to make presentations and lead discussions on such topics as sexuality, personal safety, dating and domestic violence, she said she has encountered clear evidence of such activity: used condoms littering school grounds.
"People were reading the news and doing the shock thing. I go into the schools, and what you're reading about happens," said Lewis, who has been working with youth for 24 years.
"The videotaping is one step, but shouldn't we be upset about the sex, period?" she said.
Both Capdeville and Lewis called for parents to use the incident to open frank, realistic discussions with their children about sex.
The V.I. Education Department issued a press release Thursday saying its policy is that students are not allowed to have cell phones or other electronic devices while they are in school.
"Administrators and teachers are being asked to enforce this policy, and students found in violation of the policy will have the devices taken from them," the release said.
CAHS students routinely carry cell phones on campus and make and receive calls while on school grounds and during class. On Wednesday, during a Daily News interview, a CAHS parent called his child on her cell phone and conversed with her during the school day.
Lewis said that a strictly enforced cell phone policy might not be enough. Even if the phones are eliminated from campus, she said, students still can - and do - use small digital cameras with video capabilities to record sexual activity.
"We have two weeks left in school - I hope it's not another thing where we just close our eyes and pretend it didn't happen," she said.
CAHS principal Jeanette Smith-Barry did not make a public statement Thursday. When The Daily News asked her what actions administrators had taken, she invited the reporter into her office and upbraided her for reporting about the video.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
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