Harriton Administration Releases Statement Regarding Website Created to Expose Students

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The following was emailed to the Harriton Community

“Dear Harriton Families,

We recently were made aware of a website that has been created to “expose” alleged illegal behavior of Harriton students. The site, which was created by an anonymous individual under a fictitious name, has published several images of a few Harriton students purportedly engaged in drinking beer and smoking marijuana. We received an anonymous email notifying school administration about the site. In turn, we immediately contacted the families of students involved.

As you might imagine, the website has generated conversation among students and staff. Questions have been raised about protecting the privacy of children and the implications of someone publishing photos of minors on a public website. Local law enforcement is aware, but not treating this as a police matter at this time. We also notified our information systems staff to keep them apprised. As this is an external website, it is likely beyond the District’s capacity to assist in removing the content in question.

This incident serves as a cautionary tale for our students with regard to their digital citizenship – and the decisions they choose to make with regard to drugs and alcohol. The reality is that every image they post online and every action they take in public (or even at a “private” gathering with friends) can be easily documented and shared with the world. The best way to avoid situations like these is simply to make good decisions and be incredibly cautious when crafting a digital footprint.

Clearly, this is a topic of interest to our students that has the potential to spark various emotions, opinions and debate. It is likely that it will come up in discussion in our classrooms and hallways. We have encouraged staff to support constructive dialogue and reaffirm the importance of good decision-making. We encourage your support and cooperation in doing the same at home. If your children need additional support in navigating these issues, please feel free to reach out to our counselors.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Scott Weinstein

Principal”

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