Local/State

Pa. students shown X-rated photos in assembly

Saturday, September 11, 2010
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Officials in a western Pennsylvania school district are apologizing to parents after students at a local high school were accidentally shown pornographic pictures during a presentation on the importance of donating blood.

More than 400 seniors at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon Township were watching the presentation Friday morning when school officials say "a few pornographic pictures" that were on a personal flash drive of a Central Blood Bank representative were shown on the screen.

"It just popped up all of the sudden," and remained on the screen at least 15 seconds, senior Krysta Haines said. "We were like, oh my God, are you serious?"

"It took a few seconds for people to process what was up there," classmate Chelsey Fix said. "People were laughing, but the main thing was people were like, 'I can't believe this happened.' "

The Central Blood Bank issued a statement apologizing to the students and their families and saying the unnamed employee had been indefinitely suspended pending an internal investigation. Officials said the employee had violated a ban on using flash drives and a requirement for a supervisor to review presentations in advance.

Norwin High officials also apologized in a letter to parents and said the police department in the Westmoreland County township about 25 miles east of Pittsburgh had been notified along with the district attorney's office.

"We find this incident inexcusable and are taking every measure we can to ensure that the investigation is carried out with the utmost fidelity," the letter said.

Detective Sgt. Jeffrey Bouldin said he planned to interview administrators, staff and the employee.

Superintendent William Kerr said a second blood bank presentation for the junior class was canceled. He said the organization has made presentations on blood donation for years with no problems.

"We find it quite unacceptable and inappropriate, and safeguards will be taken into consideration in the future," he said.

Senior Ethan Dobranski, 17, said the photos were the No. 1 topic of conversation among students all day.

"No one's ever going to forget this," he said.

(Copyright ©2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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