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'Disturbing' explicit email with graphic images sent to school students

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 1 Aug 2023, 9:20AM
Photo / Rosehill College Facebook
Photo / Rosehill College Facebook

'Disturbing' explicit email with graphic images sent to school students

NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Tue, 1 Aug 2023, 9:20AM

A “disturbing” email containing graphic content has been sent to students at an Auckland college on their school accounts.

The email has prompted an alert to parents and caregivers by Rosehill College’s principal, warning of the concerning communication.

“It has come to our attention that a disturbing email is circulating in the community and has been sent to some Rosehill students.

“This has been removed from all student accounts,” Rosehill College principal assistant Janet Herst said.

 “If your student has been affected by this email please ask them to go to Te Whare Kimiora first thing on Monday morning.”

Rosehill College principal Davida Suasua said over the weekend an external party sent emails to students.

“This email contained graphic and disturbing images,” Suasua said.

“Once we were notified of this email, the staff of Rosehill College undertook immediate action to delete the email and its content from all student accounts and turned off the ability of outside agencies to contact students.”

The school was working with their IT provider and police, Suasua said.

“We take this matter very seriously.

“The harmful and deliberate actions of this email raises concern that this person and or persons may require support.”

Suasua said if any child had seen the video attached to the email - “it may still be in their downloads folder”.

She asked parents and caregivers to “please go to the download folder and remove the video completely from the child’s device”.

Suasua said she was disturbed to learn that staff members had been approached outside of school hours and were being abused over this incident, including staff receiving abusive emails from Rosehill College families.

“This was a deliberate act from an external person or persons. Fuelling their intention and looking for blame does not support the students of Rosehill College.

“As mentioned above we are working with our IT provider and the Police.

“Offers are being made to support students who have viewed the troubling content.”

A police spokesperson said they weren’t immediately aware of any reports being made about the email.

It comes just days after four Te Atatū schools, including two primary schools, were ordered into lockdown as armed police swooped on the area near Rutherford College.

Rutherford College was placed in lockdown after receiving “an anonymous phone call of a highly threatening nature that informed us that an armed individual would be on school grounds imminently”.

Police said the response was sparked after the school received a “verbal threat.

“As a precaution, the school and a neighbouring childcare facility have been advised to [go into] lockdown while further inquiries are made. Police are in the area and will continue to provide reassurance to staff at both sites.”

One Rutherford College student inside the locked-down school told the Herald: “This is a very scary experience for me and my classmates, this is our first time. The only thing that we have been told is that we have to be in lockdown and stay quiet.

“The teachers are super-strict [telling] students to stay under the desk. They are doing a really good job of keeping everything under control.”

The lockdown was lifted soon after 2pm, some three hours after the threat was made.

Police said they were still investigating who was behind the threatening phone call.

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