PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A 17-year-old Woodrow Wilson High School student is facing two felony charges after police say he took, and then shared a photo of another student online Monday.
The photo, which has since been taken down, reportedly showed the naked back side of a student with disabilities using a urinal. His mother spoke to 10 On Your Side.
“He’s a sweet little boy. Everybody loves him. He’s handsome, he’s lovable. He didn’t deserve this,” says his mother.
10 On Your Side is not identifying the mother, so as to protect her son’s identity. The mother says as soon as she saw the photo, she took it to school administrators.
“I was just so upset at that point, I thought I was going to run every red light to Wilson High School. I was furious. I was livid,” she says.
The assistant principal and a police detective looked at the photo. It was taken down about three hours later, but the damage was already done.
“He’s always going to be remembered for this,” she says of her son. “I know he’s still the joke of the school because this guy was popular.”
She wants to know why her son, who has several developmental disabilities, and also a physical disability, was allowed to go to the bathroom alone in the first place. She says he typically has an aid, or uses a private handicapped restroom.
“There’s a one stall bathroom he is supposed to have been. But they say someone must have been in that one so he went around the corner – so now he’s wandering around the school. So he went into the big bathroom”
Her son’s teachers have contacted her to say they’ve come up with a plan to make sure it never happens again. A Portsmouth Public Schools spokeswoman says appropriate disciplinary action against the student has also been taken, but could not elaborate.
“I would like to see him expelled. But they told me they don’t do expulsions anymore. Or maybe a different school. I don’t want him around my son to possibly ridicule him again,” she says.
She’s also hoping that parents who read this will talk to their kids about bullying, and about tolerance.
“Talk to their kids about bullying. If you see anything wrong say something. report it. Don’t be afraid. Maybe even stand up for somebody who’s getting bullied.”
Police are not identifying the student who has been charged, because of his age. But say he’s been charged with one count unlawful creation of a photograph and unlawful distribution of a photograph.