Police: Juvenile sent inappropriate photos to children on Groton school bus




  • In US
  • 2021-11-25 10:15:00Z
  • By The Day, New London, Conn.

Nov. 25-GROTON - A student was issued a summons for a second-degree breach of peace charge after city police and a bus driver say the juvenile sent inappropriate photos to other children last week while on a school bus.

The bus driver, who made the complaint about the photos to bus company dispatch, said she had taken over the afternoon route because a group of students on the bus had harassed the regular driver earlier in the bus run by calling her a racist slur and an expletive.

The City of Groton Police Department said it received a call Nov. 15 from Student Transportation Authority, the bus company. A bus driver, who was in the area of Branford Avenue, wanted to make a complaint "concerning inappropriate photographs being sent to other children's phones," according to a report from police Chief J. Erick Jenkins.

Officers went to the scene to investigate the complaint and learned that a juvenile "had google searched and then sent an inappropriate photo to other cell phones by 'airdrop,'" Jenkins said. Airdrop is a feature that allows people to share files with other nearby devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

The student has a Juvenile Court appearance date of Dec. 1, the report said.

The bus driver said in a statement filed with police that her 8-year-old daughter was on the bus and had her mother's phone when the inappropriate images were transmitted to the phone.

She said in the statement that she saw on the phone that there was a video of one of the students on the bus pretending to masturbate, but the video did not show the student exposing anything. She also saw a photo of a penis that was sent.

Another student went up to the driver to say that she also had received on her phone the same video and another photo of a penis, the driver said.

The bus driver, who asked to remain anonymous since she was afraid for her daughter's safety due to potential retaliation from the alleged perpetrator or that person's family, said in a phone interview that there had been another incident on the same school bus prior to the sending of the inappropriate photos.

Prior incident

The driver had been doing her regular runs the evening of Nov. 15, when she heard over dispatch a request for a driver to take over a bus run due to an emergency.

When she arrived at Groton Middle School, she said she heard from a teacher that the emergency was students had called her co-worker - the driver who had been operating the bus - an expletive and the N-word.

The substitute bus driver said she saw the kids making obscene hand gestures at her colleague. The substitute told them they are not allowed to be disrespectful. "She's one of the kindest bus drivers that we have," she said.

As she drove the students home on the school bus, the substitute driver said they were loud, yelling, standing up and recording videos.

Groton Superintendent Susan Austin said she has not received the arrest warrant but has spoken with the Groton Middle School administration team, which is thoroughly investigating both incidents.

"The students involved have had disciplinary actions and parents have been notified," Austin said. "Since it is still under investigation, I cannot make any comments at this time."

The driver said the following day she was driving a bus when she witnessed two children fighting on the back of another bus. She said there have been issues on multiple bus runs, such as students cursing at each other and cursing at drivers. She said multiple drivers have had breakdowns and cried because they feel disrespected.

STA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

k.drelich@theday.com

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