Local New Jersey news outlets are buzzing today in the aftermath of yesterday’s Ridgewood High School student nudity scandal.
In case you missed it, at least two girls sent sexually explicit photos of themselves to their boyfriends via the popular cell phone app Snapchat. At least one male student got hold of the photos and posted them to Instagram, and they spread like wildfire.
Photos sent via Snapchat are “supposed to be private”, but when captured by a screen shot or photographed by another device during the viewing period, they can be reported elsewhere, which is reportedly what happened in this case.
It was my impression that popular opinion would not choose to come down too hard on the girls who elected to send photos that they deemed to be private to their significant other, but rather only to someone who distributed or posted the photos without permission
News 12 New Jersey has a poll out today and I was shocked by the results. 45% of respondents feel that the girls in a case such as this deserve to be criminally charged for sending the photos.
Because of the child pornography laws at play here, the penalties could be quite steep for an action that probably seemed harmless to the teen at the time. It’s getting tougher every day for parents to stay on top of these type of incidents. The solution begins with education, but monitoring what teens are actually doing can also help keep kids out of harm’s way.
Parents and school officials can contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.