Evanston Township High School reportedly has cancelled the remainder of the varsity baseball team’s season after a ‘sexting’ scandal developed at the school.
School officials say some girls sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves to team members who in turn circulated the photos to others.
WLS Television reports that the school in response will forfeit the remainder of the team’s season — which was to have started with a playoff game against Taft High School tonight.
A letter to players and their parents, Atheletic Director Chris Livatino called the players’ behavior “completely unacceptable” and that as a result the team shouldn’t represent the high school in the playoffs.
School Superintendent Eric Witherspoon also posted a letter to all parents on the school’s website. The text of that letter follows.
Dear ETHS families,
Earlier this week, the high school received a report about a possible “sexting” situation involving ETHS students. Sexting can best be described as sending, sharing, viewing, receiving or possessing indecent visual depictions of oneself or another person over the internet or via cell phones.
The report alleged that ETHS girls had sent inappropriate photos of themselves to ETHS boys who were members of the varsity baseball team, and some of the boys, in turn, were circulating the inappropriate photos. Upon receiving this report, school administration initiated an investigation into the facts of the situation to determine what occurred. Appropriate actions have been taken. The Evanston Police Department as well as DCFS (Department of Children and Family Services) have been consulted, and at this time they have declined to take any action.
The incident above is not an isolated one. We know that as more and more young people become connected in the digital age, sexting will remain a top concern for parents and educators. Please take the time to educate yourself and your child about the consequences of sexting. Talk about the pressures to send revealing photos and discuss the importance of self-respect and respect for others. Encourage your child to tell an adult if s/he receives an inappropriate photo via email, social media, text, or other group chat applications, and advise them not to forward the photo to other friends. If they do send it on, they may be violating the law.
As you talk with your teen about sexting, remind her/him that once something is in the digital world, it never really goes away. Photos can remain online indefinitely. College admissions officers and employers often review the internet to be sure that nothing in a person’s past may overshadow a potential acceptance or hire. Making good decisions with technology now will help support your child’s plans for the future.
At Evanston Township High School, our goal is to support all our students and their families. You are a vital partner in our mission, and we appreciate everything you do to support your child at home and at school. Below are some links to resources that can help all of us become more knowledgeable about this issue. I hope you find them useful.