Details emerge about ‘child pornography’ yearbook photo [Updated]
An inappropriate "child pornography" picture published in a Big Bear High School yearbook depicts a 17-year-old male student with his hand inside the clothing of a 15-year-old female student, officials said Thursday.
Cindy Bachman, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, said the students appear in the background of the photo and "are not the intended focus of the photograph." The picture was taken at a school dance.
However, authorities said they were concerned enough about the picture that they demanded that all Big Bear High School students return their 2011 yearbooks to the school so that the photo can be removed or covered up. They also warned that those possessing the photograph risk criminal charges involving the possession of child pornography.
The school has offered to reimburse students who do not want their yearbooks back.
The picture was brought to the attention of school officials after the yearbook was distributed last week, and they notified the Big Bear Sheriff's Station, which is conducting an investigation.
A detective has contacted both of the students in the photograph, Bachman said.
[Updated at 2:30 p.m., June 16: Bear Valley Unified School District officials released a statement saying that after learning about the photograph, administrators "immediately stopped distribution and issued a recall of all yearbooks that had been dispersed," and that a replacement page has been ordered.
Officials from both the school and district are investigating the matter, the statement said, and will "take appropriate action based on their findings."]
-- Kate Mather