Sexually explicit photos circulated Bronzeville Catholic school

Students circulated sexually explicit photos at Bronzeville Catholic school

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

The president of a South Side Catholic school said an incident involving students passing around sexually explicit photos of a female was resolved and it is unclear why the state's child welfare agency was notified.

Police first responded Saturday to Hales Franciscan High School at 4930 S. Cottage Grove Ave. in the Bronzeville neighborhood to look into claims that students passed around sexually explicit photos, a statement from Chicago Police said.

School officials told authorities that some students received or distributed sexually explicit photos of a female. One school official also told police that a more serious crime might have been committed, based on conversations with students, the statement said.

But Hales Franciscan president Jeffrey Gray said the situation has already been dealt with.

"This all happened in late September," Gray said. "All of the parents and students were brought in on this and they were told about the downside of doing this; why they shouldn't do things like this. Discipline was meted out; and everybody gave written statements about their involvement that they signed and we agreed to move forward."

Gray said someone later called the Department of Children and Family Services regarding the situation, but it is unknown who or why.

"We thought this was done and over with, there is no criminal record at the Chicago Police Department," Gray said. "This too will pass."

The name of the person in the photo has not been provided to police, and there has been no evidence presented that a crime had been committed, according to police. It is unclear whether the female in the photo is a student at the school.

"We take any allegations of this nature very seriously, so CPD has requested that the name of the victim be made available as soon as possible allowing a proper investigation to be conducted," police said.

A representative from DCFS said the agency "can not respond" to inquiries regarding the incident.

"We're focused on the mission here and looking out for the safety and well-being of our students," Gray said. "Life goes on."

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