(WSVN) - Imagine being recorded in the bathroom. It would be embarrassing and disturbing. One South Florida mom says it happened to her daughter at school. 7’s Brian Entin investigates.
It’s a place that should be totally private, but a 15-year-old girl says she saw a student recording her with a cellphone in a bathroom stall at Miami Northwestern Senior High School.
Mom: “The little girl was standing on the toilet in the stall next to her, reaching over, videotaping my daughter while she was urinating.”
To protect her daughter, this mom isn’t showing her face. She says it happened during track practice — and it was one of her daughter’s teammates doing the recording.
Brian Entin: “Are you worried that this video could be floating around somewhere?”
Mom: “Of course, of course. Who would want their child to be exposed this way?”
The teen immediately told her track coach. The principal and school police got involved.
One day later, the mom got a phone call that made her livid.
Mom: “They tell me that until the investigation is over with, my daughter can’t participate in any track meets or any practices. And I said, ‘So she is the victim, she saw something, she said something, and she is being punished?'”
In a statement to 7News, the Miami-Dade School District says administrators “worked diligently” to address the situation, but the process was “somewhat delayed” because of difficulties coordinating a meeting with everyone involved.
They eventually met and worked to “…facilitate the student’s return to her regularly scheduled athletic activities.”
Just one day after we reached out to the school district, the 15-year-old was told she could come back to track practice. But she had already missed two meets, and her mom says the emotional damage was done.
Stephanie Langer, attorney: “I think that is re-victimizing the victim, and I think it happens way more than we realize. I think it’s very common, we have heard this a lot in the media with the Me Too movement.”
Attorney Stephanie Langer isn’t connected to the case, but specializes in school discipline. She says, outside of a school, recording someone in the bathroom would be a crime — but when it happens on campus, it’s not always treated that way.
Stephanie Langer: “The school districts and the employees have a lot of leeway to determine what to call something and how to punish for something.”
And also a lot of leeway when it comes to who gets punished.
Mom: “She can’t understand it. She can’t comprehend this entire thing. ‘One, why did it happen to me? Two, why would she do this? Three, why am I being punished?'”
The family says the girl told investigators she deleted the video, but they are worried she may have sent it to friends or even posted it on Snapchat.
As far as discipline, the school district says the student accused of taking the video lost her place on the track team.
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