One Paul G. Blazer High School student has been disciplined in connection with a group of students who allegedly were exchanging inappropriate photos on their cell phones, according to Ashland Superintendent Sean Howard.
The photo exchange was brought to the attention of the district and police by local photographer Stephanie Gilmore, who is the daughter of Ashland Mayor Steve Gilmore.
Steve Gilmore is also a former Ashland schools superintendent.
The Gilmores posted on social media Tuesday their concerns about students distributing photos that they falsely claimed depicted Stephanie Gilmore’s daughter.
Howard said the issue was investigated by high school officials and the police and has been completed, with one student “receiving consequences.” He declined details of the consequences because of confidentiality rules and said he did not know the names of that student or other students alleged to have been involved.
The student receiving consequences is a minor, Howard said.
“Any situation that arises in any school is thoroughly investigated and the outcome is based on investigation of these issues, and if we need to involve the police we invite the Ashland police department,” he said.
Steve Gilmore confirmed that the social media post was authentic and vouched for its allegations.
He said neither he nor his daughter believes the school administration handled the investigation well.
According to the post:
The photos were exchanged among students in a group using Snapchat, a cell phone app designed to allow users to post photos that delete automatically after a predetermined time.
Users had bypassed the deletion feature by capturing screen shots of images.
Two of the photos were pornographic images of a model with face obscured and the false claim they depicted Stephanie Gilmore’s daughter.
Stephanie Gilmore met with school administrators and police and filed a police report.
Police investigators found more images on other cell phones of other girls that allegedly were sent to boys who posted it to the Snapchat group.
The false pictures purporting to be her daughter have circulated widely among students and also teachers.
The school’s response was insufficient and “has contributed to the perception that the images are (of my daughter) and the boys did nothing wrong.”
By mid-afternoon Wednesday the post had garnered more than 800 individual reactions — likes, dislikes and so on — and more than 500 had shared it to other pages. Stephanie Gilmore has more than 1,142 followers on Facebook.
She identified her daughter on the page, which was accessible to non-friends, but in keeping with past practice, The Daily Independent is not using the name in its news coverage.
The Daily Independent requested contact information for Stephanie Gilmore from Steve Gilmore, who agreed to pass on the request to his daughter.
Stephanie Gilmore did not return the call before the story was filed, but her public Facebook post includes additional details.
Ashland Police Chief Todd Kelley declined to provide information on the investigation.