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Commack district to address 'inappropriate' photos posted by students on Twitter

Commack school officials said Friday, Sept. 19, 2014,

Commack school officials said Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, they are appalled about two photographs posted on social media depicting five district high school students in T-shirts spelling out "rape." Credit: Twitter

Commack school officials said Friday that they are investigating two photographs on social media depicting five district high school seniors in T-shirts spelling out "rape" and could take "disciplinary and legal action if applicable."

The district, in two separate statements Friday, said it was appalled at the posting of the photographs on Twitter, calling them "inappropriate" and saying it will be addressing "this serious matter" with the students who were involved and their parents.

In one photo the T-shirts spell "rape?" In a second they spell "rape." and show a bound student.

The pictures were posted on Twitter and then later deleted, News 12 Long Island said.

The district said in its second statement that the photographs were taken Thursday after seniors were assembled on the bleachers of the varsity field to take the senior photo, an annual event.

The photographs also violated a school restriction, implemented two years ago, prohibiting "lettering and/or messaging on clothing during the senior photo."

The statement also said it appears the offensive photographs were taken after the final bell, when "some students remained on the field to take photos with their friends."

The statement said the students involved in the two photographs showed "an inexcusable lack of judgment, and their actions are taken very seriously by the entire school community."

The district said it appears the two photos are an isolated incident and that it is "involved in a comprehensive investigation to determine the full scope of this matter."

Once the investigation is completed, "we will take the necessary and appropriate actions including, but not limited to, disciplinary and legal action if applicable," the statement said.

Citing privacy law, the district said it was not permitted to release the names of the students or the consequences they receive.

The district also said it regretted the turmoil caused by the actions of the involved students and said that counseling was available for any student as a result of the photographs being posted.

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