Texas Teens Charged for Allegedly Taking Photo of 11-year-old Boy with Special Needs in Bathroom, Posting it to Instagram

Texas police say three teenagers have been charged after taking an image of a student with special needs while he was using the bathroom and sharing it online.

Irving Police Department confirmed a "compromising picture" had been taken of the child last Friday at the Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, West Pioneer Drive. Officials said that three juvenile students were being charged with felony invasive visual recording.

According to investigators, a 13-year-old boy took an image as the 11-year-old special needs student was using the restroom. Police said the 13-year-old then shared the picture with two other 13-year-old students. No names or personal information were released.

A resource officer worked alongside administrators from the Irving Independent School District (ISD) to identify the juveniles suspected of being involved.

"This is an in-going investigation but the police department believes all persons involved have been identified," law enforcement officials said.

The 11-year-old's mother told local media outlet WFAA the image of her son, who had just started the sixth grade, showed him "with his pants down to his ankles."

She said it was posted to Instagram by another student, where it remained online for about two days, when the picture was later flagged to the school. The child's exact learning difficulties were not immediately clear, but the mother said that he is "non verbal."

An ISD spokesperson said the school could not discuss specific information about the child due to privacy concerns, but noted that it takes the situation seriously.

The spokesperson said: "The students involved have received... discipline as outlined by local laws and our student Code of Conduct, and the Irving Police Department has filed charges on the students. At Johnson Middle School and in Irving ISD, we take all bullying allegations seriously, and we are committed to helping prevent bullying on our campus."

Police said in a notice posted to Facebook this week that anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Irving Police Department at (972) 273-1010 (24 hours) and reference the case number: 19-24410. Tips can also be sent to: ipdpcrimetips@cityofirving.org.

In Texas, a conviction for invasive visual recording--defined as taking photos or video of an intimate area without consent--carries penalties of up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000, according to The Law Office of Kevin Bennett, a legal outfit based in Austin.

Police told WFAA the trio of accused teens may face additional legal consequences relating to the case, but did not elaborate on what those could be. The investigation continues.

Lady Bird Johnson Middle School
Lady Bird Johnson Middle School, West Pioneer Drive in Irving, Texas. Google Maps