School district calls touching incident a 'misunderstanding' - Mid-South News, Weather, Traffic and Sports | FOX13

School district calls touching incident a 'misunderstanding'

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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BYHALIA, Miss. (FOX13) -

UPDATE:  There was no inappropriate touching at Byhalia Middle School during school pictures Wednesday according to Marshall County School District Superintendent Jerry Moore. 

Superintendent Moore told FOX13 News the concerned mother and the photographer met with school officials Friday. The superintendent characterized the incident as a misunderstanding.  The investigation into the alleged incident is over.

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(previous story)

Administrators with the Marshall County, Miss., School District are investigating allegations of inappropriate touching on picture day.

A mother said her 14-year-old daughter felt violated after she says she was inappropriately touched by a photographer during school pictures Wednesday at Byhalia Middle School.

The mother went to school administrators to report it Thursday morning. District Superintendent Jerry Moore said he is taking the accusation seriously and they've launched an investigation.

"The guy that was doing their pictures was sitting there rubbing on her legs, rubbing on her face," the mother said. "She has really long hair and when she went to take, instead of him telling her 'I need you to take your hair out of the little drape,' she had him stick his hand in the drape and pulled her hair out, and she felt violated."

The concerned mother said her daughter told her about the incident after school Wednesday.

"I asked her, 'How many other people was done that way?,' and she said, 'There was a few other girls,' and one of the girls he did touch her on the chest," the mother said. "There was no adult supervision whatsoever. There should have been an adult in there with them."

Superintendent Moore, in an e-mail statement to FOX13 News said: "The MCSD was approached the day after school book pictures were taken by a parent who noted that the contracted photographer (not a district employee) had made their child feel "uncomfortable" while pictures were being taken. An internal investigation began immediately to determine what occurred, as we take all accusations concerning student safety in a serious manner."

Superintendent Moore was at the school Thursday overseeing the investigation. He said the students were supervised at all times.         

"It is important to note that the MCSD ensured that two female employees were present at all times while pictures were being taken and those employees did not view or deem anything that took place as out of sorts or inappropriate," he said. "There was also another female photographer present while pictures were being taken. The MCSD will continue to investigate this incident, but must be fair to both parties involved, that is, those making the accusations and those being accused."

The school district will not identify the company brought in to take the pictures.

Still, the concerned mother wants answers.

"My concerns is how many other kids has he done this to and how many other kids will he do this to, if they don't do something," she said.

FOX!3 News contacted the Byhalia Police Department and the Marshall County Sheriff's Office. Neither has opened an investigation into the incident.

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