FARGO – A student at Oak Grove Lutheran School was dismissed and police are investigating after an electronic recording device was found in a girls’ theater dressing room, the school president said in a letter to parents.
The device was placed in the dressing room during a Thursday, Feb. 22, performance of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” President Michael Slette wrote in the Feb. 28 letter.
Slette said three adult production staff members discovered the device, which had started recording near the end of the musical and ran for about 51 minutes before adults stopped the recording.
Slette said the school contacted the Fargo Police Department, and the device was turned over to them for an investigation. “Fargo Police has since confirmed that the video WAS NOT uploaded,” Slette wrote.
During a meeting with all female cast members in grades 6-12 and their parents, Slette explained the situation and said it was “understandably devastating to these young ladies and their parents.”
A total of 31 girls in elementary, middle and high school were affected by the incident. Counseling services are being used to support the girls, Slette said.
He said the person responsible for placing the device in the dressing room is a minor and an Oak Grove student who has since been dismissed.
In the letter, Slette shared a statement written by the girls:
"We would like to express on behalf of all 31 of us elementary, middle and high school girls that because of this break of trust, we are feeling deeply hurt and violated on a level we never expected at our school. This hurt we are feeling has been affecting all of us in different ways and intensities. We would ask for your prayers for the theatre cast members affected, the entire Oak Grove community as well as the family of the person who ultimately broke our trust. In this matter, honesty is most important as you talk with your students and encourage them to be considerate to the feelings we are experiencing. Great power for positive change can come from this unfortunate circumstance. We look forward to standing beside you, and with you, as we navigate this as a community."