Sexting: A growing problem among teens and pre-teens - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Sexting: A growing problem among teens and pre-teens

Juvenile Officer, Diedra Ashley Juvenile Officer, Diedra Ashley
KENNETT, MO (KFVS) -

Unbelievable, but true.  Juvenile officers in New Madrid County say kids are taking naked and graphic pictures and video with cell phones and sending them to each other or posting them on chat sites.  Kids, as young as ten.

Officers say kids don't realize it's a crime, and there are consequences in a digital world where that kind of material never goes away.

"The pictures are very graphic," said Juvenile Officer, Diedra Ashley. "I was shocked to see those pictures among kids that are so young."

The problem came to Ashley's attention through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  The organization monitors pornographic material on certain chat sites.

From there they traced some of the videos and pictures back to devices that belong to children in New Madrid County.

"This was a computer used by a juvenile on a website called my yearbook.com," said Ashley.  "A girl posted a particular video on a chat site and unfortunately she did not have her clothes on when she was doing that."

Ashley says now, there are no more warnings and zero tolerance.  If you get caught you're going to face charges. Ashley says at least five children are in trouble.

Frustrated, Ashley went into schools with the highway patrol to stress consequences that never disappear in a cyber world.

"We try to stress yes you're a kid but what are you going to do when theses pictures pop back up? What are you going to tell you're potential employer or your own kids?"

Heartland News took the issue to parents in New Madrid County.

"It's not hard to tell them right from wrong, just have to tell them and hope for the best," said Cara Ellison.

They admit it's hard to keep up with what you're kids are doing online.

"I don't know what he's doing," said Tina O'Dell.  O'Dell told us she can't check her 16 year old son's page because he won't hand over his passwords.  "Nope," she said. "He won't give it" to me.

Ashley says to make a real impact, parents need to demand passwords.  And be more proactive.

"Go through their pages and look at their messages," said Ashley.  "Your child's going to think it's not fair but it is your job to keep them safe."

Ashley says the students don't seem to know why they are doing it, and their parents were shocked and devastated.

Meanwhile, Heartland News discovered that New Madrid County schools are some of many in the Heartland facing some kind of sexting problem.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

  • Heartland NewsMore>>

  • Man wanted, possibly armed after police chase on I-55

    Man wanted, possibly armed after police chase on I-55

    Monday, July 16 2018 4:24 PM EDT2018-07-16 20:24:49 GMT
    Cody Gustin is wanted after leading officers on a chase on I-55. (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Office)Cody Gustin is wanted after leading officers on a chase on I-55. (Source: Perry County Sheriff's Office)

    A Cape Girardeau man is wanted and possibly armed after leading officers on a chase on Interstate 55 on Monday morning, July 16.

    A Cape Girardeau man is wanted and possibly armed after leading officers on a chase on Interstate 55 on Monday morning, July 16.

  • Walker’s Bluff General Store closing

    Monday, July 16 2018 4:15 PM EDT2018-07-16 20:15:50 GMT
    Walker’s Bluff has announced it will close the Walker’s Bluff General Store and reorganize its operations.(Source: Pixabay.com)Walker’s Bluff has announced it will close the Walker’s Bluff General Store and reorganize its operations.(Source: Pixabay.com)
    Walker’s Bluff has announced it will close the Walker’s Bluff General Store and reorganize its operations.(Source: Pixabay.com)Walker’s Bluff has announced it will close the Walker’s Bluff General Store and reorganize its operations.(Source: Pixabay.com)

    Walker’s Bluff has announced it will close the Walker’s Bluff General Store and reorganize its operations.

    Walker’s Bluff has announced it will close the Walker’s Bluff General Store and reorganize its operations.

  • First Alert: Feels like temperatures back in the triple digits

    First Alert: Feels like temperatures back in the triple digits

    Monday, July 16 2018 3:51 PM EDT2018-07-16 19:51:40 GMT
    Hot and muggy Monday with a chance of thunderstorms today. (Source: William Foeste/cNews)Hot and muggy Monday with a chance of thunderstorms today. (Source: William Foeste/cNews)

    Temperatures this evening will slowly begin to fall through the 80s. by morning lows will be in the lower 70s.

    Temperatures this evening will slowly begin to fall through the 80s. by morning lows will be in the lower 70s.

Powered by Frankly