Police are investigating a pornography ring at a Melbourne private school which involved boys sharing explicit images of young naked girls.
A 16-year-old male student at St Michael’s Grammar School is believed to have created a Dropbox folder which contained photos of several girls from the St Kilda school.
The folder was accessed by other male students, and is believed to have included nude photos of students in Years 10 and 11.
It follows a string of recent scandals at other private schools involving young male students circulating explicit and offensive content about girls on social media.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed the allegations were being investigated by detectives from Moorabbin SOCIT after receiving a report of “inappropriate images being distributed by students”.
Head of school Simon Gipson said a student reported the incident to the school and it had immediately referred the allegations to police.
“While we cannot comment on action taken, we continue to make all decisions according to our behavioural expectations framework, which is based on our core values of dignity, respect, care and compassion,” he said.
He warned the school would “apply the most severe consequences” if police identified a breach of these expectations.
“We have a strong commitment to supporting the welfare of our students, and we will continue to protect all members of our school community from anti-social behaviour.”
A parent of a child attending the prestigious school said the incident highlighted the negative impacts of pornography on teenage sexuality.
“The boys are creating their own pornography and become desensitised,” the parent told Fairfax Media.
“We need to have a conversation as a society about the impact of porn on teenage sexuality and respectful relationships.”
Last week a video surfaced online showing Year 12 Melbourne Grammar School students rating potential dates and making inappropriate comments about women.
One boy ordered his classmates not to choose any girl with a rating “under a seven” to take to the end-of-term formal.
A video titled “Tinder boot camp” was posted to Facebook and circulated between students at the exclusive school.
The school would not confirm what action had been taken against the students when contacted by Fairfax Media on Wednesday.
“The small number of boys responsible for making the video have sincerely apologised for their actions, understanding that these were wrong.
“With regard to the details of any specific steps undertaken by the school in response to this issue, I believe this to be a matter between the students, their families and the school,” said headmaster Roy Kelley.
Last month, Brighton Grammar expelled two senior students who had set up an Instagram account that featured photos of young girls and invited people to vote for the “slut of the year”.
Police are investigating the social media account, which featured photos of girls as young as 11 without their knowledge.
The school attempted to reassure parents and students that it would not tolerate “disrespectful behaviour on any social media”.
Headmaster Ross Featherston wrote to parents on Wednesday and said the school had identified a small number of other boys who were also implicated. He said they had been disciplined and were receiving “re-education and counselling”.