Emily Snodgrass is only a 14-year-old freshman at Tonganoxie High School in Tonganoxie, Kansas, but she’s already seen more than her fair share of bullying.
"Through middle school there were rumors she was pregnant,” Christie Snodgrass, Emily’s mother, told KCTV. "Girls would come up and touch her belly. We were told to just ignore it that it would go away.”
"Emily unfortunately did have a suicide attempt last year from all of the bullying," Christie said.
However, Christie claims the bullying escalated this week when a fellow student took a photo of Emily in a state of undress inside the locker room and posted it to Snapchat, an app that allows users to send photos to each other which then disappear within 10 seconds.
"I expected to have privacy in a locker room," Emily said. “The girls are always on their phones so I wasn't suspicious."
"The girl had written the words, ‘Exposed! I don't give a F. I hate her,’” Christie said.
Emily was distraught. “I broke down into tears because there’s all these people looking at me,” she said. "I have really bad anxiety and they are all telling me ‘Oh have you seen this? Have you seen this?’ I hear cliques of people in the hallway talking about it.”
The Snodgrass family is convinced the school district isn’t doing enough to protect Emily. Tonganoxie High School is small — according to U.S. News, it only has 500 students and it’s the only high school in town.
Although the student who sent the photo has reportedly been punished, the school district seemed unhappy the issue had received publicity. “Sad news day if this is newsworthy,” Superintendent Lyn Rantz told KCTV. "Kids need to come to school to be cared for and learn but know when poor choices are made, it won’t be on the evening news.”
Christie thinks it’s important people know about the treatment of her daughter. “I think that the school's policy should be changed," she said. "They shouldn't allow electronic devices in places like bathrooms and locker rooms where children are expected to undress. I think they need to protect our children more and I think more people need to be aware this happened. It could happen to anyone."
The family does not believe charges will be filed, although there is a state statute against taking someone’s picture without their consent if it’s for the purpose of looking at their body or undergarments.