The teacher, 36-year-old Bonnie Guess-Mazock, was arrested in January and charged with indecency with a child. She's currently out on bond.
The lawsuit says Snapchat’s design allows sexual predators to target underage children and fails to protect them.
"Snapchat’s disappearing-messages function provided the perfect cover and opportunity for Defendant Mazock to prey on her students," the lawsuit states.
The student is a sophomore at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe. According to the lawsuit, Mazock used Snapchat to send him seductive photos and inappropriate messages. She also used the social media platform to arrange private, off-campus meetings with him, the lawsuit says.
“This boy’s school was his safe haven,” said attorney Derek Merman of the Heard Merman law firm, which represents the family. “He trusted his teachers and the staff around him. All of the parties failed him and must be held accountable.”
Attorneys say Mazock gave the teen money and prescription drugs and encouraged him to take the drugs before their encounters.
The student’s family discovered the relationship after he overdosed on prescription drugs, the lawsuit states.
We reached out to Snapchat and they said they don't comment on pending litigation but they do try to protect users from predators by:
- Constantly working with experts and industry partners to combat it.
- Ban public profiles for Snapchatters under 18, and they only allow minors to surface in friend-suggestion lists if they have friends in common.
- Using tools to proactively detect known Child Sexual Abuse (CSAM) images and videos
- We are also developing machine learning-driven tools to help us identify keywords and account behaviors that suggest abusive accounts or other suspicious activity.