September 11, 2013

Vermont school dealing with sexts, naked photos

Girls were sending photos to boyfriends, who were sharing, collecting and offering to buy them.

The Associated Press

WATERBURY, Vt. – A Vermont school superintendent is urging parents to help fight a sexting problem at Harwood Union High School after she said some female students sent naked photos of themselves to boyfriends and male students started "collecting them like baseball cards," and offered to buy some.

Police subpoenaed from Facebook about 2,000 pages of texting and sexting messages from Duxbury students last year, said Washington West Supervisory Union Superintendent Brigid Scheffert.

In an opinion piece released to the media, she said about 20 female students sent graphic, naked pictures of themselves to boyfriends. As many as 30 male students started sharing the pictures, "collecting them like baseball cards," and offering to buy some, she said in the piece published in the Burlington Free Press.

"I have no doubt that this whole story goes even deeper, but I can only write about what was actually uncovered," she wrote.

The students are receiving counseling and the district is working to take an educational approach, issuing discipline where warranted, and avoiding criminal charges, she said.

The supervisory union plans to hold assemblies and forums to help make families aware of the dangers of sexting.

"This is not just a Harwood problem. We need to open up dialog and keep on talking about the dangers and ramifications of these types of choices with our students," Scheffert wrote.


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