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Texas school district apologizes after social media account shared post on 'self-love' sex toy advice

After the account claimed to be hacked, a district Facebook account later apologized saying it learned a staff member shared the post without reading the image text.
Frisco ISD Administration

FRISCO, Texas — A Texas school district has issued an apology on social media after a high school social media account shared an image offering "self-love" advice that said using sex toys could help one overcome anxiety.

Rep. Jared Patterson, – who represents the Texas House district including Frisco – posted a photo of what appeared to be a post shared from the Emerson High School counselors Instagram account, which was actually an advertisement for a vibrator. The post was deleted and the account claimed it had been hacked. 

The shared post told potential customers that "toys can help you overcome sexual anxiety," while another part said to "explore until you find something that works for you."

“The sexualization of our kids has to stop. The lack of accountability has to stop. The lies have to stop. The cover ups have to stop,” Patterson, whose children attend FISD schools, said in an Aug. 22 Facebook post

“Why anyone thinks it’s okay to promote sexually explicit materials to our children is beyond me. A culture where any staff member thinks this is acceptable behavior is highly concerning. Where is the accountability? As an elected representative of the people and policy maker, does the Board President have an opinion on whether any of this is appropriate?”

Emerson High School's counselors released an apology for the incident over a story on Instagram last week.

"We want to clarify and apologize for recent activity on this account," the statement read. "We mistakenly reshared content that does not reflect our values or those of our campus or district. We intended to share information about self-care and did not fully review the material before sharing. That should not have occurred." 

The statement went onto read that after realizing the nature of the content, they posted the account had been hacked, which they now say is not true. 

"We regret the incident and the way we responded. We commit to doing better in the future," the statement concluded.

Frisco released a formal statement on the incident as well.

"The content that was reshared does not reflect the values of the employee involved, Emerson High School or Frisco ISD," the statement read. "This unfortunate situation should not have occurred. Since this incident, Frisco ISD has updated our guidelines related to employee use of social media and will provide additional training to all staff regarding best communication practices this month."

On Aug. 23, the Frisco ISD Government Affairs Facebook page issued the following apology, stating they learned the account was not hacked and a staff member in charge of the account did not actually read the text of the image and thought it was simply "about self care": 

"On Friday, in response to a tweet from Representative Jared Patterson about inappropriate content shared from a campus social media account, we shared another post from that account stating that the inappropriate content was shared because the account was hacked. Later that afternoon, we learned that the account was not hacked and the post with that information was not true. As a result, we deleted our reply tweet because we did not want to continue sharing what we had learned was inaccurate information.

Over the past several days, District and campus administrators determined that a staff member reposted the content from another account believing it to be content about self care without actually reading the text of the post. Later, when the staff member realized their mistake, they removed the post and posted that the account had been hacked. When District and campus administrators learned that was not true, the entire account was disabled.

We sincerely apologize for re-sharing the inaccurate post. We were attempting to respond quickly with what we believed to be true information. In the future, we will verify such posts from other District accounts prior to re-sharing them."

Rep. Patterson posted to Facebook on Aug. 26 that he'd met with the Frisco ISD superintendent to discuss a number of issues, including sexually explicit content in schools.

"Dr. Waldrip was kind and expressed concern over the same issues I've raised. I take him at his word and look forward to continuing the discussion with him and his team in the weeks and months to come," Rep. Patterson said.

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