In response to the arrest of a pair of students who allegedly took surreptitious pictures of female students, the Niskayuna school board is planning to cite “upskirting” for prohibition in its student code of conduct.
“We had a serious situation; everyone knows about it, and the code of conduct review gives us this opportunity to address it explicitly,” Niskayuna Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. said last week.
Tangorra said annual code reviews are often used to respond to changing technology and student behavior. Illegal behavior, of course, is handled through an outside criminal process, but adding the language to the code of conduct gives the district more leeway in doling out its own consequences.
The school board discussed the code of conduct revisions at a meeting Tuesday but most conversation centered on significant revisions to the athletic code of conduct, which also now includes the “upskirting” prohibition.
The code update adds “upskirting” and “voyeurism” to a list of offenses that could result in a student’s out-of-school suspension. In a separate section, language is added that prohibits students from taking or sending photographs “taken without the consent of the person whom they are taken of.”
The district last year invited a guest speaker from the Police Department to discuss social media safety and related issues and in some middle school classes, social media awareness is taught, Tangorra said.
Christopher Khan and Angelo A. Cavallaro were arrested after Khan allegedly secretly filmed female students and stored the photos on a thumb drive hidden in a book at the high school, which Cavallaro was accused of paying to access. Cavallaro’s case remains pending, while the status of Khan’s case could not be determined Friday.
During Tuesday’s meeting, a man who identified himself as the father of the victim of the pictures told the board members he was grateful of the way the district and Niskayuna police had handled the case. He also expressed support for the new language in the code of conduct.