With one click of a button on his phone, everything changed. Some friends he’s had since elementary school no longer text or call. Slaton fills his days completing school work online, working out and wishing he could turn back time.
28, Ben Slaton made a serious error in judgment that directly damaged two lives. Division I programs were starting to make contact with the 16-year-old junior, who was on his way to a solid B average in the classroom. 28, Slaton was off the football team and expelled from school.
“Hopefully,” his father, Damon Slaton said, “a lot of people have had the Ben Slaton conversation in their household.” *** In class on that September day, Slaton was seated directly across from a teacher, about 10-15 feet away.
The teacher, wearing a skirt, was seated at a desk similar to a student’s desk.
“I thought it would be funny to take a picture and send it to my friends,” Slaton said.
Slaton said he took the photo and sent it to three friends on Snapchat. He made another conscious decision to take a picture in class – an inappropriate picture. And then he made the conscious decision to share that picture with three other people.” RELATED: Social media pitfalls can derail recruits as Signing Day nears—here’s proof Slaton deleted the photo from his phone, but a screenshot from Snapchat was forwarded to more students.
The photo, seen by an Indy Star reporter, does not show the teacher’s face, but is clearly inappropriate. “By no means is what he did acceptable,” Damon Slaton said. The Plainfield administration brought Slaton into the office the next day at school.
“I waited there for like three hours alone in the office,” Slaton said.
“A police officer escorted me out of the building and took me to the (police) station.” Capt.
Jill Lees of the Plainfield Police Department said the department could not provide a report because the incident involved a juvenile.
There are no pending charges against Slaton, according to the Hendricks County prosecutor’s office.
Sabrina Kapp, director of communications for the Plainfield Community School Corporation, said the Plainfield administration cannot comment on the situation “because it relates to a student discipline matter.” The administration also said the teacher declined comment.