WAKEFIELD — The frustration and anger of students and parents of Wakefield Memorial High School students continue to simmer over the school administration’s handling of a situation that surfaced last month in which a male student, a WMHS junior, is alleged to have taken and posted on social media hundreds of sexually explicit and inappropriate photos of female students along with sexually threatening comments directed at those students.

Parents and students brought their frustration to the School Committee last night.

The male student was reportedly suspended but to date has not faced criminal charges. He has not returned to school.

However, reports that the male student was expected to return to school on Monday of this week resulted in parents mobilizing to protest the school’s handling of the matter. Last Thursday, Friday and Monday, protests were held in front of the high school by hundreds of sign-holding parents, students and other concerned residents, drawing news coverage by Boston media.

Parents’ outrage boiled over at last night’s School Committee meeting, where two parents read statements. One of those statements was written and signed by 14 of the female students who described how they felt victimized by the male student’s actions and online postings, as well as by subsequent comments of school officials.

According to the girls’ statement, they were told by school officials that “we needed to be more aware of our surroundings.” They say they were also told by school officials “to make amends with the [male] student” who took and posted the images online.

Lisa Auffrey was the first parent to address the School Committee.

“I am here as a representative of a group of concerned parents and community members regarding the administration’s failure and lack of communication in handling the recent issues at Wakefield Memorial High School,” Auffrey said.

“Because we have no confidence that the administration will respond to our questions, I am here tonight to formally request that the elected officials of this School Committee place this matter on a future agenda for a public discussion in the immediate future.

“Parents and students deserve to know the safety plan in effect to protect every student, what resources are available to students who feel unsafe and what steps are being taken to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future,” Auffrey continued.

“Respectfully, it should not take three days of protests and the presence of the news media for the School Department to answer these questions. Unfortunately, however, even that has been met with silence.

“Therefore, we are here to request that the School Committee lead the charge in protecting our students,” Auffrey concluded. “We look forward to seeing this discussed at a public School Committee meeting in the future.”

Next, parent Nancy Buckley became emotional as she read a statement written and signed by 14 of the female students who described their feelings after their photos were taken and posted online.

“On Oct. 11, we discovered that hundreds of inappropriate photos were unknowingly taken of us and posted to a public web site. These photos consisted of closeups of body parts and upskirts, which were then posted to the web site with our individual names attached to the photos. The photos were then asked to be ranked and some also had price tags attached and available for purchase.

“Upon discovering these photos, we downloaded as many as we could and made the decision to present them to our parents and school officials, knowing that this would be humiliating and cause us mental anguish. Despite this, we felt that it was more important to protect our dignity and self-worth.

“Upon presenting the photos, school officials offered us counseling in private areas within the school where we could go when we felt overwhelmed or even to get away from it all, which was greatly appreciated.

“However, we were also told by school officials that we needed to be more aware of our surroundings and, ‘We would like you to make amends,’ with the [male] student.

“Not only do we find these comments appalling and disrespectful, but it also showed us a lack of understanding by school officials of the depth of trauma and mental distress this has caused us. It also caused us a lack of confidence that school officials would protect us and keep us all safe.

“After repeated cries to the school officials of what would make us feel safe and comfortable that went ignored, we were forced to bring our message to the community, which resulted in extensive media coverage.

“We are now crying out to you, the School Committee, to hear our voices and put this on your agenda and to review all the policies and procedures that school officials followed during this process. We feel they are outdated and do not properly cover a heinous act of this magnitude. We are reaching out to you to keep us and all of the students safe. No student should have to experience what we have endured over the past six weeks.”

The statement, signed by the 14 female students, closes with, “Our goal is to ensure that this never happens again.”

School Committee Chair Suzy Veilleux then read a prepared statement that she admitted did not directly address what was expressed in the parents’ and students’ statements.

“The School Committee joins members of our community in expressing deep concerns about the troubling and inappropriate incident at the high school,” Veilleux said.

“The school administration has worked to address the incident in accordance with its existing policies. We understand the difficulty that many in our community have had with this process. We also understand that due process in any investigation takes care and time. Please know that this process and our policies are largely dictated by state law.

“As chair of the School Committee, I can say with confidence that our administrators have acted in good faith to care for the students who were directly impacted by this individual’s behavior, while ensuring accountability for those unacceptable actions.

“The district has been as transparent as the law allows and the superintendent has kept the School Committee as up-to-date as possible. As the superintendent shared, the district has cooperated fully with the Wakefield Police Department to support its ongoing investigation into this matter.

“The high school administration has also identified ways in which we can engage with middle and high school students by offering them educational opportunities to ensure that they have a fuller understanding of how their actions on social media impact themselves and their peers.

“Above all, the community should know that the School Committee and the administration are deeply committed to maintaining a learning environment where all students feel mentally and physically safe, welcomed and supported.

“I have met with administrators to understand the process we’re following,” Veilleux said in closing. “I’ve reviewed our policies and the law that applies to this situation. I’ve met with some of the families affected. I trust that the administration team is doing the right thing in accordance with their responsibilities under the law.

“Everyone around this table is a mother, a father or an uncle. What has happened is unacceptable and these behaviors cannot be tolerated. Supporting all students and making sure they feel safe is incredibly important to every one of us.

“I say that and also look all of you in the eye and say that we need to keep doing work. We’ve got more to do. And we heard you, and we will respond. Unfortunately, it’s hard to respond kind of in a moment, right? I also know that you probably don’t love all of the things that I just said, and I respect that.”

Parent Nancy Buckley asked when parents would have an opportunity to respond to Veilleux’s comments. She also wanted to know when parents would learn what the school actually investigated, because all of the information had been provided to the school and no information was provided back to parents or the girls regarding the results of the school’s investigation.

“These girls did their due diligence to come forward, and showed a tremendous amount of strength and speak up,” Buckley said. “So, when are we going to find out what the school found out? Because we are owed that. They are owed that.”