An offensive Instagram account set up by students from a boys-only private school in Australia was created to share photos of girls without their consent and for viewers to vote on "Slut of the Year" — and now police are investigating.
The Instagram account, which contained pictures of girls as young as 11 or 12, was created by two Year 11 students at the exclusive Brighton Grammar School.
The students were suspended, and a decision on their future at the school was going to be made after an investigation, according to Henrietta Cook and Steve Lillebuen of The Age. In an update, it was revealed that they had been withdrawn from the school in order to avoid an expulsion.
One Melbourne mother (who has not been named so that her daughter cannot be identified) reported the account, with police confirming that they had received a report about "inappropriate content on an Instagram account originating in the bayside area." A spokeswoman said:
"The matter is being investigated by local detectives and as the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."
The mother spoke out on her Facebook page when she discovered that pictures of her daughter were uploaded onto the account, reports Olivia Lambert of the NZ Herald. Her Facebook post said:
"I am writing this as a mother of a girl that has not only been sexualized but violated within our small community.
I will not rest until the consequence for the crime meets the severity of the crime itsel– for my daughter and all other young unsuspecting girls."
The mother also said that the parents were to blame for the boys' actions, not the school. She said:
"The school has done everything in their power. Education begins at home."
The post was shared hundreds of times before it was made private.
She then received a threatening phone call from an "old boys' club" parent who phoned from a blocked number and stated that it was "just a group of young boys having fun." She responded:
"It was an attempt to intimidate me, but it won't happen. I'm determined to make sure that everyone within our community thinks twice, and has a heightened sense of the dangers of social media."
The account was entitled ys_academy_puspus, with "ys" standing for "young sluts." According to Elisa Doherty of the Herald Sun, one featured a schoolgirl wearing bikini bottoms and a white singlet with a caption describing the sex acts she might perform. Another showed a group of grade six girls in their school uniforms. The account was deleted once it came to the attention of officials.
The school's headmaster, Ross Featherson, spoke to the boys, their parents, and the parents of at least two girls victimized by the account. According to the BBC, he said in a statement:
"The Instagram post is disgraceful and does not reflect the values of BGS. Disrespectful behavior on any social media site is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated."
He plans on getting together with one of Australia's leading cyber educators to review the school's current programs and provide guidance on social media education to make sure that nothing like this happens again.