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Schuylkill Valley HS student Anders Hemdal talks about lawsuit against district over sex tape

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Nov 28 2012 06:55:33 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 28 2012 12:26:03 PM CST

Student sues school

ONTELAUNEE TWP., Pa. -

The Schuylkill Valley High School student who is suing the school district talked about the sex tape that started it all.

Anders Hemdal was videotaped on a class trip abroad. He said the school district didn't stop the video from circulating and then punished him without a hearing.

Hemdal said he didn't know he was videotaped, and when he found out, the video had already been circulated.

Hemdal said he's been bullied ever since the tape of him and his ex-girlfriend was taken on a school trip to Morocco last year.

"The fact that this student made the video has really turned my life completely upside down," said Hemdal, adding that he lost friends and school hasn't been the same.

He said the Schuylkill Valley School District administrators suspended him for four days but didn't address the problem.

"I felt like the school wasn't doing anything to stop the bullying not only by him by the people who had seen it or heard about it," said Hemdal.

His mom agreed.

"We really felt like the focus from the school was that these two kids had sex not, hey it might not have been a good choice," said Stephanie Hemdal. "What's really bad here is this kid that stood outside the window peeping in videoed it a showed it about."

Stephanie Hemdal said if the school district handed down a lesser punishment they would not have taken the district to court, but she said her son was never given a hearing which is required if he is disciplined for a major offense.

"We felt as though our son had been victimized by this other student and not only were we unhappy with how the school handled that, but we weren't going to allow the school to victim our son as well," said Stephanie Hemdal.

The family has filed a civil rights suit in federal court in Philadelphia. They said they are trying to heal by spreading the message about the dangers of sexting by starting the group Students Against Sexting. Anders said he learned a lesson about trust the hard way.

"What you're sending could be seen by anyone," said Anders Hemdal.

The school district said it cannot comment about pending litigation.