School board member speaks out on West Springfield arrests - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

School board member speaks out on West Springfield High School arrests

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. -

A Fairfax County School Board member is speaking out about the child porn scandal at West Springfield High School.

Two 16-year-old boys and a 15-year-old are charged with possession, reproduction, distribution, solicitation and facilitation of child pornography.

The students are accused of getting six teenaged girls drunk, having sex with them and making and distributing videos.

Sources tell FOX 5 some of the girls also attend West Springfield. The others attend Robinson and Lake Braddock Secondary Schools.

On Monday, West Springfield's principal sent an email to parents stating in part, "while arrests were made here at school the students did not engage in any of these alleged behaviors at school or during school hours."

Students tell FOX 5 the boys were arrested during class, which is something that Fairfax County School Board member Elizabeth Schultz takes issue with.

"The public school can't be used as an extension of the criminal justice system," she says.

Schultz says school officials are working with police to come to an agreement on how situations like this will be handled in the future.

Meantime, with the cell phones and abundance of technology available to kids these days, she says parents are the key to preventing them from making the wrong decisions.

"With the social media, Facebook, Twitter, the time that kids are out of your home, be aware of what's going on, put some boundaries, maybe make some unpopular decisions, telling your children, ‘No, that they can't go some place or stay some place for [a certain] period of time," says Schultz.


Letter sent to West Springfield High School parents:

Dear WSHS Parents & Guardians,

Many of you may have heard through various news reports over the weekend that several West Springfield High School students were arrested here at school on January 11 in connection with their involvement in a child exploitation case. As this is an ongoing police investigation, we are directing all questions about the arrests to Fairfax County Police. I want to be very clear that while arrests were made here at school the students did not engage in any of these alleged behaviors at school or during school hours. The charges that are pending all revolve around alleged inappropriate activity that occurred outside of school over an extended period of time.

The allegations were first brought to the attention of School Resource Officer Plazio in November and the police investigation was subsequently launched. Our task is to maintain business as usual at WSHS. We are here to care for and educate all our students. I want to express my regrets that our school was dragged into this story. The reports clearly do not reflect the positive learning environment that students, parents and staff have created at our school. Thank you for your continued support of WSHS.

Respectfully,

Mark Greenfelder, Principal


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