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>>

  • First Alert: Rainy Earth Day

    First Alert: Rainy Earth Day

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:14 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:14:41 GMT
    Most of the heavier showers will move in during the early morning hours (Source: KFVS)Most of the heavier showers will move in during the early morning hours (Source: KFVS)

    Lisa Michaels says a slow-moving low-pressure system that is off to the southwest of the Heartland is bringing rain this morning.

    Lisa Michaels says a slow-moving low-pressure system that is off to the southwest of the Heartland is bringing rain this morning.

  • Two families had memorable pitches at SEMO Redhawks game

    Two families had memorable pitches at SEMO Redhawks game

    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:42 PM EDT2018-04-22 02:42:34 GMT
    Liam Gregory, a heart recipient, hands the ball to the catcher in his ceremonial first pitch.Liam Gregory, a heart recipient, hands the ball to the catcher in his ceremonial first pitch.

    Two memorable first pitches happened at the SEMO Redhawks baseball game on Saturday, April 21.

    Two memorable first pitches happened at the SEMO Redhawks baseball game on Saturday, April 21.

  • 82-year-old injured after crash with semi on I-57 in Williamson Co., IL

    82-year-old injured after crash with semi on I-57 in Williamson Co., IL

    Saturday, April 21 2018 9:18 PM EDT2018-04-22 01:18:16 GMT
    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)
    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois. (Source: Raycom Media)

    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois.

    An 82-year-old man was injured after his car was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 57 in Williamson County, Illinois.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:25 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:25:04 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:19 PM EDT2018-04-22 16:19:25 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

Powered by Frankly