Two Texas high school students face criminal charges for allegations involving secretly filming a classmate in a campus bathroom stall. Then, they reportedly posted the footage of the boy, which exposed his penis, on Snapchat.
McNeil High School seniors Cory McMahan, 18, and Corbin Banda, 17, were charged with invasive visual recording for their alleged actions. Apparently, the video, once uploaded on the popular online app, went viral.
A grand jury indicted McMahan and Banda on March 29, although the recording uploaded onto Snapchat was made on November 27, 2017. The indictments alleged that the two teens “recorded the intimate area of the complainant while the complainant was in a stall in a restroom located at McNeil High School.” The court documents noted that the recorded person had a reasonable expectation that an intimate area was not in public view.
According to the Round Rock Independent School District, McMahan and Banda spent 30 days in a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) facility as punishment for their actions. Then, they returned to McNeil High. However, the humiliated male student depicted in the video transferred to another school to complete his senior year.
The victim’s mother, who requested anonymity, said she thought it was wrong that her son had to be the one who left the school as he had many friends on the campus. She hoped that students, parents, and school district officials learned from this unfortunate situation and begin to take the downsides of social media seriously. She commented: “We have to make an example of these people who are doing these crimes because this is where we are going to stop it.”
Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody said there may be a third suspect, a juvenile, in this case but authorities have not yet decided whether to file charges, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
On Monday, Round Rock ISD issued a statement. They called the incident “a gross violation of privacy and behavior that will not be tolerated.” The school district said these allegations were “immediately investigated and reported to law enforcement as soon as McNeil High School administrators were made aware and both students received disciplinary consequences.”
The statement continued: “While technology has transformed the way we deliver education in many positive ways, it also has opened the door to numerous negative behaviors and outcomes.”
The school district said they will remain “vigilant” in teaching and policing “digital citizenship.” They will report violations to local law enforcement, when appropriate, and hold students accountable for their behavior.
Additionally, Round Rock ISD stated they “provide curriculum on social media to all of our campuses and provide instruction on issues like acceptable use, digital safety, cyberbullying, and digital/information literacy.” They said this is “interwoven” into their Digital Citizenship Curriculum and “hope our parents will help reinforce these messages and help us keep their children from making a mistake that could have devastating effects on their lives and the lives of others.”
Last year, state lawmakers passed and Governor Greg Abbott signed “David’s Law,” aimed at preventing cyberbullying. It mandated school districts create anti-cyberbullying policies, develop systems for students to anonymously report incidents, and allow law enforcement to investigate these cases. It also authorized schools to remove an offender from class, place in DAEP, or expel the student. The law honored the memory of David Molak, a San Antonio 16-year-old who committed suicide following relentless online harassment.
Invasive visual recording is a state felony. If convicted, McMahan and Banda face up to two years in jail.
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