School officials in Bedford, N.H., are investigating allegations that some boys in ninth and 10th grade secretly photographed 11th- and 12th-grade girls and made trading cards of the images.
The boys are also accused of assigning “grades” to the photos, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader.
Superintendent Michael Fournier confirmed the allegations outlined in the Union Leader report and said an investigation is underway.
“What was reported in the article is what was reported to us,” Fournier said by email. “We are in the investigative stage right now.”
In a message to families, Fournier said the accusations came to light after “a brave Bedford High School student reported to administration that freshman and sophomore boys were taking pictures of junior and senior girls without their knowledge.”
“We believed them and informed high school families,” Fournier wrote.
In the message, Fournier said “no student victims or perpetrators have been identified,” and urged anyone with information about who was involved to contact high school administrators.
“Should any investigation warrant police action, [school resource officers] are on site and ready to respond,” Fournier wrote. “The Bedford School District takes these allegations seriously. We also take student privacy, due process and family involvement seriously.”
Fournier noted that all minor students are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law known as FERPA.
“Therefore, no employee of the Bedford School District is permitted to disclose names or consequences of victims or perpetrators,” he wrote.
Fournier said families are encouraged to contact the school counseling office at 603-310-9001.
“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,” he wrote. “The best way to address and eradicate this type of misconduct is to talk with our kids. If you have not already done so, please take a moment and speak with your Bedford student about the importance of privacy, respect and consent. We will continue to partner with you in affirming this message and taking active steps to educate our kids.”