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Petition demands expulsion of New Hampshire students accused of sharing and ‘grading’ photos of female classmates without consent

By Amy Simonson, CNN

(CNN) — Some 9th and 10th grade Bedford High School students, in Bedford, New Hampshire, mostly boys, took pictures of 11th and 12th-grade girls’ buttocks and breasts without their consent, “grading them and sharing those with others,” according to letters sent to parents Thursday and Friday by High School Principal Robert Jozokos.

One letter sent to parents Thursday and shared with CNN by the Bedford School District, said students involved “with this behavior” can expect a meeting with parents and a “Saturday School, in-suspension, or out-of-school suspension” depending on their involvement.

School officials plan to meet with parents and students Monday to make a “plan to renew and maintain a safe and respectful environment for students,” according to a second letter sent to parents Friday.

According to the letter, a student shared with administrators “two pictures that were collages of girls.” It revealed all the girls who were photographed were wearing bathing suits, or shorts and tops and none of the photographs was taken from inside the school or on campus.

Administrators spent Friday interviewing approximately 35 male and female students from all grades about the incident, according to the letter.

“Some came to us on their own and others we followed up with after learning that they might have additional information,” the letter said.

The collages and individual pictures had been shared on Snapchat, a messaging and social networking app, without the girls’ consent, the letter said.

“As of right now, we know two students received images and student reports point to three to five students sharing them,” the letter said.

A petition, created Thursday by a 12th grade female who attends Bedford High School, said the students “deserve to be expelled” and not suspended.

“What has school turned into for these young women? We are not a toy for your son to play with, nor a piece of paper that can be traded like a Pokémon card,” the petition said.

The petition, which has more than 2,800 signatures as of Monday afternoon, “encourages” the Bedford community and “beyond” to “support our protest in the lack of discipline Bedford has demonstrated.”

“These students have no place in our school, and need to be removed immediately. The damage they have done to our community is irreversible and cannot be compensated in any form other than justice for their disgustingly irresponsible actions,” the petition said.

When asked what consequences the students face, Bedford School District Superintendent Michael Fournier said in an email to CNN, “Once the investigation is complete, the high school administration determines next steps. As the individual who may hear an appeal, it is important that I maintain objectivity until I am presented with all of the facts,”

Administrators contacted parents of the girls who were identified in the photos and any additional girls who might be identified will also be contacted, Jozokos said in the letter. He added police were also updated on the incident.

According to the letter, administrators initially heard reports of physical trading cards of the girls being circulated, but they “have not been able to find any trading cards although several students mentioned hearing about them.”

“We have not seen any images with student names or grades on them, and while we had initially heard that yesterday, we did not hear about that today,” the letter said.

The letter said there are “some things we are still trying to find out” and the investigation is ongoing. Jozokos urged students to come forward if they have any information they can share.

According to the letter, community education advocates and the dean of students will be made available to students Monday.

“The Bedford School District stands with all victims of harassment of any kind. We have engaged with community resources to assist both students and families as they need,” Fournier said in a District letter sent to parents Friday.

Bedford, New Hampshire, is located approximately 50 miles west of Portsmouth.

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CNN’s David Williams contributed to this report.

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