November 25, 2013
Local leaders are responding to the rise in "sexting" among students.
Albemarle county schools sent out a letter to parents warning them about sexting last week.
In a letter sent to parents from the county schools last week, school officials revealed that the police have investigated seven sexting cases in a six week stretch.
Albemarle Chief of Police Steve Sellers says that jump in cases in such a short period of time made them realize this wasn't an issue that just one group could handle alone.
"You know, what we want to do as partners with the school, and the police department, Commonwealths Attorney’s office, is get in front of this as quickly as possible. To educate, and to deter these types of crimes from happening."
The consensus was the best place to start was to educate parents and students on just what they stand to lose.
Assistant superintendent of Albemarle County Schools Matt Haas says the cases are a result of one bad decision: a kid sends a risky photo to a person they want to see it.
"Just with adolescents, they don't always make the best decisions and a lot of them are influenced by peers. And that’s where I think this starts. I don’t believe that children start out with a situation like this looking to do harm."
Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Darby Lowe says from a legal standpoint, sending a nude photo could be disastrous.
"They have no idea when they are passing on a photo from one friend to the next that there are legal ramifications or legal consequences. We want them to understand when they get a photo to be responsible and don't additionally disseminate it."