A digitally-altered image was shared with some students, school faculty, and district administrators late Friday afternoon, December 10, 2021.  It depicted possible criminal activity on a school bus, but aspects of the image called its validity into question. It did not appear to be an actual original photograph but a digitally altered graphic instead. 

The image was immediately reported to law enforcement, and officers confirmed that the image was not valid. It was a digitally altered graphic. The school district’s review of surveillance video from the school bus confirmed this fact as well.

However, the initial uncertainty about the image’s validity caused concerns about school safety among some parents and students. It also disrupted school transportation operations.

School district and law enforcement personnel worked closely together to investigate the incident. This led to a possible suspect being quickly identified. The suspect was placed in custody Friday. Consequences will be distributed accordingly by law enforcement and the school district. 

Digitally-altered image
Credit: GHN

We ask parents to continue to speak with their children about the importance of respect, self-control, and personal responsibility for their actions, especially with digital tools and social media. There are multiple fads on social media platforms that encourage children to act inappropriately and create and post inappropriate content.  Children do not think of the legal consequences or the negative digital footprints they create that can hurt them later in life.  We teach digital citizenship in our schools, and we ask you to remain vigilant at home as well.

See Something, Say Something

Bulloch County Schools always encourages students and adults to say something if you see something. You can Immediately report crime tips or suspicious activity at a school to a school administrator, a trusted adult, or contact law enforcement tip lines:

• Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office: 912.764.1771 or tips@bullochsheriff.com
• Statesboro Police Department: Text TIPSSPD plus your message to 274637 (CRIMES) or report at tip online at statesboropd.com .
• Bulloch County Schools Safety Department 912.212.8891 or lmashburn@bullochschools.org