A Winter Park High School football player was removed from campus Thursday, Nov. 16, in the wake of allegations that he recorded video up four girls’ skirts with his phone at school.
The action from Orange County Public Schools took place about eight months after the original allegations first surfaced in March, when a Winter Park High School student discovered the student-athlete filming underneath her skirt during class, said Frank Hamner, an attorney representing the four victims and their families.
Until that point, the student accused of video voyeurism still roamed the same hallways as his alleged victims.
“This was a case from last school year that was handled consistent with our Code of Student Conduct,” said OCPS Media Relations Manager Lorena Hitchcock. “While some of the media coverage is inaccurate, we are unable to comment (because of) to student privacy laws.”
Officials discovered instances of video voyeurism dating back to January on the student’s phone.
Hamner said it has been a difficult road for the families up to this point and that OCPS should reevaluate its codes.
“My understanding of it from my end is there was a feeling on their part that right and wrong are indifferent,” Hamner said. “The matter was handled administratively through their discipline process, a punishment was handed down — we don’t think it was the right punishment — and they felt it would be, for lack of a better term, double jeopardy to subject him to more punishment.”
The student’s removal from the school didn’t stop him from participating with the school’s football team at Showalter Field last Friday.
“The families’ goal was two-fold: No. 1, get the victimizer away from the victims,” Hamner said. “Get this young man out of daily contact with these young ladies, that was number one. No. 2, was to hope that somehow — through his parents or some other means — that he gets some help.
“With the football thing, in a perfect world, he’d sever all ties with Winter Park High School, but there are rules and regulations and things that allow him to play sports even if he was being home-schooled or virtual-schooled,” he said. “It became a question of how far we want to push.”
The student faces four misdemeanor counts of video voyeurism, and has a court date set for Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. He will complete this semester at Winter Park High School remotely until the Christmas break before potentially switching to a virtual school, Hamner said.