FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sixteen students in southwest Florida have been disciplined after they were found to be involved in sexual activity inside a high school restroom.
The News-Press reports that Lee County School District spokeswoman Amity Chandler said Wednesday that the punishment ranged on several levels. She didn’t specify what punishments were handed down.
The discipline followed the discovery that multiple male students engaged in sexual activity with a female student in a restroom on May 17.
Chandler says no further disciplinary actions are pending. She also said that when the incident occurred, after regular school hours, some adults were in the hallway where the bathroom was located.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office is checking into a cellphone video taken of the incident.
The female student’s mother told NBC2 in Fort Myers her daughter is a victim of human trafficking. The mom said the girl was held captive by a human trafficker for two years, beginning when she was 13 years old.
A woman who has worked with the student is acting as the family’s spokeswoman.
“I had heard a lot about the incident through the news. I heard it and thought, ‘There’re some red flags,'” advocate Megan Estrem told NBC2. “What’s upsetting about this is this behavior is not uncommon for human trafficking victims.”
The student has been into different treatment programs. She had been at South Fort Myers High for two weeks before this incident.
“She was not equipped to make a stable, rational decision in that situation,” Estrem told NBC2. “She has been in an environment where she has been told to behave a certain way, and there were severe consequences if she didn’t.”