This situation like any other that involves minors, cell phones and explicit photos needs to be a topic of discussion for parents and their children. The consequences for students not understanding or even knowing the law can have devastating effects.
All of the students involved are under 16 years old and go to either Rochester Adams High School or Van Hoosen Middle School. Each student could face a felony charge. Twenty-four girls and seven boys are involved.
WXYZ reported that it started with the young girls taking explicit photos of themselves which were sent out via text messages to others. The photos have continued to be shared out by many others over and over again. It got out of control.
Police say those who took the photos could be charged with producing child pornography, while people who shared them could be charged with distributing child pornography because the teens in the photos are minors.
This case is not unlike that of the students at Wyoming Michigan’s Grandville High School that were investigated in September. In that case sexually explicit pictures allegedly involving Grandville High School students surfaced on social media that quickly went viral.
The pictures in that case allegedly showed two individuals involved in a sexual act with several others standing nearby watching. The posts of those photos on social media ignited a firestorm online with hundreds of thousands of tweets.
Authorities cautioned anyone who produces the photos, possessed or shared them could face criminal charges.
According to a number of independent, national surveys, approximately 25% of all teenagers have sent an explicit photo of himself or herself to a friend or stranger. Given current trends, it is likely that these statistics will continue to increase in the future. The vast majority of kids are sexting someone that they know at school and have interactions with on a daily basis.
Further information is available on WXYZ’s website concerning this issue.