Laguna Beach High School investigating AI-generated nude photos of students

Laguna Beach High School campus.
Laguna Beach High School on Tuesday was investigating reports of inappropriate or nude photos of students created with artificial intelligence being distributed.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach High School on Tuesday was investigating reports of inappropriate or nude photos of students created with artificial intelligence being distributed, and the Laguna Beach Police Department is assisting the school district.

Principal Jason Alleman sent a letter to parents Monday about the investigation into the photos. In the letter, Alleman said “these incidents can have far-reaching impact on our campus culture.”

“These actions not only compromise individual dignity but also undermine the positive and supportive environment we aim to foster at LBHS,” Alleman said in the letter.


The photos might have been shared among students through text messages, and parents were informed about the photos last week.

The school has not identified the students responsible for either creating or sharing the photos, nor revealed the number of alleged victims.

However, the father of a 17-year-old boy believed by some students and parents of creating the images after seeing a tutorial on AI on TikTok said his son suffered a traumatic brain injury while snowboarding when he was 11 in 2019. As a result of the brain injury, the father said, the teen struggles with the part of the brain that governs decision-making.

“He’s really, really sorry” about what’s happened, his father said.

When his son got hurt snowboarding, “he was given a 1% chance to live,” his father said.

He survived “by all accounts by literally an act of God,’’ his father added.

The injury affected multiple parts of the brain, including his frontal lobe, so he has problems with impulse control, his father said. He has issues with his memory and walks with his arm locked in the air, his father added.

The images in question appear to be very crude and not realistic, his father said.

The attorney for the family, Jacqueline Goodman, appealed to reporters to back down from publicizing the incident and to let school officials go through the process of investigating the allegations.

“You have all of these news vans parked outside of the school and it’s appalling,” Goodman said. “Let the system take care of it as it ought to. We’re all in a sort of fact-gathering situation and it’s just not appropriate to be outing him, staying at his school and essentially convicting him before authorities have any way to consider this. ... It would be unfortunate to treat an adult like this, but particularly appalling to treat a disabled child like this.”

The Laguna Beach Unified School District released a statement about the photos and said the safety and security of students is the district’s top priority.

“We are required by law to keep student discipline matters confidential to protect the privacy and well-being of our students. In any situation that arises, the safety and security of our students is always our top priority. Simultaneously, it falls within our role as educators to guide students toward understanding the consequences of their actions, particularly in terms of their impact on peers and the wider campus community.

“High school is a pivotal time for shaping students, offering us the opportunity to nurture them into empathetic individuals who are mindful of the world around them. Maintaining a careful balance between accountability and empathy is essential as we navigate and address critical issues.”

Laguna Beach High School is planning to host panel discussions this week covering online privacy, legal and ethical considerations of sharing content, the impact of online behavior on future opportunities and relationships and managing digital footprints.

“We share deep empathy for the students and families involved, understanding the distress and worry they, as well as the wider student body, may be experiencing,” Alleman said in his letter to parents.

In March, the Beverly Hills Unified School District expelled five eighth-grade students for their involvement in generating and sharing AI-generated nude photos of classmates.


6:13 p.m. April 2, 2024: This story has been updated to include the comments of the father of a teen implicated in the incident, as well as comments from the family’s attorney.