Dear Shakopee Parents,
Unfortunately, in the past couple of days, some in the media have portrayed an entire group of our student athletes at the high school in a negative spotlight. We as a school district did not comment, nor did we report to the media that any specific student groups were involved in the incident involving students sending and sharing inappropriate images.
I need to speak out on behalf of our students who have been unfairly stereotyped by some in the media as they do not deserve this unjust negative attention. For anyone to point fingers or place blame directed at one group of kids in our community is wrong.
Yes, we did recently conclude the school’s investigation on a matter that involved several individual students sending and sharing inappropriate images, but let me be clear that this was not an incident involving an entire team of our student athletes. We met with students, their parents, and worked in partnership with the Shakopee Police Department to assure we took the reported allegation seriously.
Clearly, there are details of the results that we cannot disclose due to individual student data privacy laws. However, as important as it is to not share individual student private data, it’s equally as important that we do not paint an entire group of student athletes with a wide brush of guilt.
I want you as parents to know that the district takes allegations and investigations of this nature very seriously. As always, student safety is our top priority. As a school district, our function is to educate, while also protecting the rights and reputations of all those involved as well as maintaining a positive learning environment.
The transmittal of inappropriate images among teenage students happens more often than any of us would like to think or imagine. It is not an isolated problem in Shakopee. It’s not isolated to the metro. This is part of a broader societal issue that impacts families and school districts nationwide. Let’s all use this as a teachable moment.
We all need to make a conscious effort to monitor what our kids are doing online. In this day and age, technology can be a great resource, but also a dangerous one. How we use it and how our children use it makes all the difference. In the wrong hands, the same internet that brings us valuable information at the speed of light can also bring unwanted intrusion into our family lives and have lasting impacts.
As you know, we don’t get to pick and choose what kind of mistakes our kids make. However, when they do, we need to have appropriate consequences for the offense. We then need to rally around them and let them know they still have our support and continued guidance.
Please talk to your children about social media. If any of your students or you as parents ever need an ear to listen or have any concerns or questions, administrators and counselors are always available.
It is our hope that the individual students involved will learn from this situation and make better decisions in their futures. It’s our responsibility to work together to prevent another occurrence in the future.