Superintendent addresses Seaman High harassment allegations during school board meeting

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Seaman Superintendent Dr. Steve Noble addressed the district’s role in a harassment investigation spanning more than two years at the Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office recently announced it is investigating reports of inappropriate photo sharing involving students at Seaman High School, going back to 2015.

Grace Anderson is a senior at Seaman High School. She told KSNT News that when she was a sophomore, she was hounded by video chat requests from an email she didn’t recognize.

Almost two years later, she said she found out it was coming from someone in her class and she wasn’t alone.

“When I found out that it was him, then people were like oh yeah that happened to me too, or oh yeah I heard about that, that happened to my friend, so it’s kind of shocking that it was on such a big scale,” said Anderson.

Although Anderson didn’t answer the video calls, she said other girls did and saw male genitalia. Another senior girl told KSNT News that the student who’s been accused of this tried to get her to send him a nude photo. When she refused she said he sent a fake nude photo to other students and told them it was her.

Noble brought up the allegations during the “Superintendent’s Remarks” portion of Monday’s meeting.

“The allegations made are severe. Of course, we would like to find a resolution as soon as possible, but it is also our job to ensure we find the truth amidst allegations,” said Noble. “There must be substantiated evidence brought forth before consequences are administered.”

Noble revealed that the district has been working through the harassment claims with the involved students, parents and law enforcement for several months. He said they’re also engaging the school as a whole through the school’s newspaper.

“Instead of thinking well they shouldn’t have sent the pictures in the first place, that person should have never asked for the pictures in the first place,” said Noble, quoting an article from the school’s newspaper.

The district also released a list of things they’d like students and parents to consider when dealing with harassment or bullying of any kind.

  • See Something, Say Something
    It is always important and appropriate to report suspicious activity to parents, teachers or other authority. We should all be working together to keep our schools and community safe.
  • Be Responsible, Report don’t Post 
    Responsible people alert authorities with any information about suspicious activity. Posting or sharing information on social media is not the same thing as reporting information to authorities and can lead to widespread confusion and misinformation.
  • Threats are No Joke
    Any threat made towards our students, school or staff will be taken seriously and may result in a criminal charge. This applies to face-to-face, social media, messaging, etc. Please be responsible in your actions both online and in person.
  • Phone it In
    The Kansas School Safety Hotline provides you a way to anonymously report suspicious activity. The hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The toll-free number is 1-877-626-8203.
  • Want To Share Something? Share it Here
    Online School Safety Reporting Form: www.seamanschools.org/contactus

The Sheriff’s Office originally opened the investigation in to these claims in September 2017 but closed it due to lack of evidence. The Sheriff’s Office said it reopened the investigation in January after new information came to light.

The district says they believe most, if not all, of the reported harassment happened outside of school and on the students personal devices.

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