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A sexting scandal took over a Georgia high school that involved dozens of students.
According to WSB-TV, the Union County School Superintendent John Hill said about 50 of the 850 students at Union County High School were caught sending nude pictures of classmates over their phones. Hill said the students’ age ranges from 14 to 18, and most of them didn’t realize what they were doing was illegal. Their actions could have even led to child pornography charges.
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“It’s just a very large problem,” Hill said. “This has been very disturbing to our high school and to our school system, and I think it’s impacted our community.”
Hill revealed that a parent told the principal about the issue a few weeks ago. Officials have since concluded that at least 46 students were caught up in the illegal exchange of nude photographs of each other.
Hill said the school district could have hit people with felony child porn charges but decided to not to.
“In Georgia, if you’re under the age of 18, that’s actually manufacturing and distribution of child pornography,” Hill said.
Instead, Hill said the consequences have ranged from short-term suspension to alternative school, based on the severity of each student’s involvement.
“We feel like it’s important to educate the children and educate the parents about the seriousness of the crime,” Hill said. “Once it’s out there, you can’t control it. You can’t get it back.”
Hill went on to say that there’s no indication the nude photos have reached the hands of child predators.
The district attorney and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation have since made presentations to the high school, as well as middle school students, about sexting. Hill mentioned that next year, the district will also be considering a curriculum on cyber safety.
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