An educator from Eastwood Middle School is calling for stricter penalties against students who manipulated an inappropriate image by superimposing her face onto it.
Last spring, Angela Tipton, an eighth-grade English teacher, received a troubling text message from one of her sons.
Angela Tipton shared with CBS4’s Debby Knox the distressing message she received from her son regarding a naked picture of her circulating among their schoolmates. The authenticity of the image is unknown, but the fact that her son recognized her face in it made her feel disgusted.
Angela expressed her disturbance upon seeing a picture of her face on a body that wasn’t hers. She acknowledged that the body in the picture was not hers, but the face was unmistakably hers.
As she discovered, the image had been crafted by a few of her students and subsequently circulated among them. They even went as far as to create an Instagram account solely for the purpose of showcasing the image.
Angela expressed her distress over the fact that children were included in it. She revealed that some of the students had left supportive comments, but what was even more troubling was the fact that they thought she was behind it. This caused her to spiral into a state of panic and despair.
After the image was created and shared by the students, consequences were imposed. Angela removed them from her class and one student was transferred to another school for the rest of the academic year. Additionally, a no-contact order was implemented, schedules were modified, and cell phones were prohibited on campus. While the school district took measures to collaborate with the parents and prevent future issues, Angela remained unsatisfied with the extent of the disciplinary actions.
Angela expressed her concern stating that allowing the kids who distributed this to remain in the building makes the situation appear less severe.
According to Angela, when she requested a more severe punishment, the administrators seemed to have changed their stance and became more lenient.
According to their perspective, the children had been fully rehabilitated and the disciplinary action taken against them was sufficient. Hence, they did not see any issue with me sharing the same workspace with them.
When CBS4 reached out to Washington Township Schools administrators for their take on Angela’s case, they responded with the following statement.
Washington Township Schools places great importance on addressing any instances of technology misuse. The district is dedicated to responding to any violations of the school’s code of conduct, thoroughly investigating the circumstances, and taking appropriate action to ensure accountability.
After reporting the incident to the school, Angela also lodged a complaint with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. To her dismay, she learned that the students responsible for the wrongdoing were put on a diversion program. This means that they will not face any criminal charges as long as they refrain from getting into trouble in the future.
As a recipient of federal funds, Washington Township Schools are subject to federal regulations, including those outlined in Title IX. After a Title IX investigator thoroughly examined the case, a report was issued that validated the victim’s allegations of sexual harassment and confirmed that appropriate disciplinary measures were taken.
In a recent development, Anthony Dean, the top executive of the Washington Township Education Association, made an official statement regarding a certain matter.
The WTEA has shown complete and unwavering support to Ms. Tipton during these difficult times. She is a highly regarded member of our association, and we are determined to stand by her side as she and her family recover from the harm that was unjustly brought upon them.
Angela’s ultimate goal is to implement a more inclusive strategy to address the issue of harassment. This calls for legislative measures and reforms in the juvenile criminal code. If these changes do not occur, she is apprehensive that the increasing advancements in technology and artificial intelligence will lead to a surge in cases of sexual harassment among teachers and students.
Angela expressed her belief that she won’t be the only person to face such a situation. She hoped that something positive would arise from it.
This fall, Angela Tipton made a return to Eastwood Middle School, where she is currently teaching sixth grade students.
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