Elizabeth NJ Schools Deal With Anonymous Twitter Accounts, Nude Photos

The Elizabeth New Jersey public school system this week is dealing with a made-for-media scandal that has a number of elizabeth-schools-logoingredients that make a story truly buzzworthy. When you combine:

  • Anonymous social media accounts
  • Nude, sexual student (?) photos
  • Possible sexting
  • Possible child pornography
  • Possible Revenge Porn

A number of anonymous Twitter accounts were brought to the attention of school officials, and those accounts were posting nude, sexual pictures, allegedly of students.

Two things (at least) are interesting and worth noting. The owners of the Twitter accounts may or may not be students in the district, and the lewd photos may or may not be students of the district. That hasn’t kept district officials from taking action, but the admins probably know whether some pictures had students in them.

The Elizabeth police are involved, and some of the accounts are reported to have been shut down already as of last night. The school board has taken a very drastic step in this case, and one that seems very heavy handed to us. According to an article at NBC New York on the incidents:

“any student who tweets, retweets or favorites one of the offensive messages, or who follows the offensive tweeters will be disciplined. The district will also take whatever other legal actions are available to it to unmask these anonymous harassers and impose appropriate discipline”

We’re not sure what type of discipline they have in mind, but no doubt if punishment is handed down for simply interacting with another Twitter account, there could be lawsuits involved.

Don’t forget that this is also a parenting issue.

What is a parent to do? First, if you don’t know whether your teens are active on Twitter, you should. Ask the question, and encourage them to not interact with accounts such as these. Second, use this as a teaching moment to warn against the dangers of sexting. If those are pictures of students, you can bet that the subjects are wishing they were never taken in the first place.

You can find the superintendent’s letter to parents here.


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