The family of a Folly Quarter Middle School student who they say was the victim of an alleged sexual cyberbullying attack is calling on top Howard County school officials to review bullying policies at county schools.
In a statement Sunday night, the family asked schools Superintendent Michael Martirano, the Ellicott City middle school’s administrators and the county school board “to evaluate countywide bullying and cyberbullying policies and procedures, including but not limited to: investigations, reporting, discipline, remediation, communications and education.”
A complete review of their daughter’s case is also being requested by the family. According to the statement, the family planned to meet with Martirano on Monday to discuss the “heinous attack.”
A county schools spokesman did not respond to a request for confirmation of the meeting Monday.
The family said nearly three months ago their 14-year-old daughter, who has “a physical and severe intellectual disability,” was targeted and victimized by an eighth-grade student. The family said the student superimposed an image of their daughter’s face onto a video from a pornography website and distributed it on Snapchat.
The Howard County Times does not identify victims of sexual assault.
The family “did everything we felt necessary to protect our daughter,” including hiring an educational advocate, legal counsel and filing a report with police, according to the statement.
Howard police were notified of the incident on March 22, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said.
“Any possible charges are yet to be determined” as an investigation is ongoing, Llewellyn said in an email Friday.
The family said they met with school officials and were told the student had been disciplined. They said they were not satisfied with the school’s response.
On Friday, Folly Quarter Principal Scott Conroy addressed the incident in an email to the school’s community.
“Sexual harassment, cyberbullying and other types of bullying that take place during both school hours and non-school hours have a significant impact on the learning environment during school,” Conroy wrote.
Conroy said he and Folly Quarter Assistant Principal Lori Willoughby will talk with students about the impact of sexual harassment and cyberbullying during classroom visits April 25 and 26. Schools are on spring break from Monday until April 23.
“Our goal is not to demonize anyone involved in this incident,” the family’s statement says. “We are ready and willing to work together so that out of such appalling circumstances, we might be able to effectuate positive change at the school and county levels for our students and the community at-large.”