Administrators at Cañon City High School in Colorado were recently tipped off on something that NO mother is ever ready to hear. Hundreds of students have been caught in a sexting scandal that is now under criminal investigation. The school’s administrative board called parents to a special meeting on Thursday where they uncovered the anonymous tip that led them to a slew of X-rated photos. And it wasn’t just high school kids either. Some of the children in the pictures were discovered to be only eighth-graders. “A tip led to a couple more names, an interview led to a couple more. At one point it was, ‘Well everybody is doing this’. Of course, we didn’t believe them up front and the more we looked, the more we said, ‘You know, hey, we have to turn this over to the PD. This is deeper than us,” said Cañon City High School principal Bret Meuli, according to a report by Fox 31 News.
The explicit photos were being saved on hidden photo vault apps that are often disguised as everyday applications like calculators. “It’s hundreds, and I mean it was flooring to us how many photos that we were finding on the phones that we confiscated,” said Meuli. The high school canceled the weekend football game since several players were exposed in the sexting scandal as well. Though the sexts were consensual, those involved may still be facing felony charges for child pornography in addition to sex offender status. Police are still investigating now, and charges will ultimately be determined by the Fremont County District Attorney’s Office.
They don’t intend to require juveniles to register as sex offenders unless it’s absolutely necessary, according to district attorney, Tom LeDoux. He aims to use discretion. “These are a bunch of kids who made stupid mistakes. Throwing around the child pornography? It’s life changing for some of these kids,” said one parent, Gina Devonshire. Another mother, Michelle Barnes, commented, “We’re not dealing with a bunch of adults who made a bunch of bad decisions, we’re dealing with kids that made bad decisions. During the meeting, the school officials and law enforcement officials tried to educated parents on how to have the conversation with their children about this serious offense. “It’s just a nationwide problem, it just happened that it’s really exposed here,” said Barnes.
Her feelings are reinforced by many of the student’s parents, and unfortunately, she’s probably right. It’s disturbing to know what could be hiding inside our children’s cell phones, but having the conversation with them and exposing the problem now is much better than a school-wide confiscation later. So how do you feel about checking your child’s cell phone? Do you perceive it as an invasion of privacy or a necessary precaution? We’d love to hear your feedback! Want to know what apps look innocent but really hide things from parents? Check out our 15 Dangerous Apps list here above to see which apps kids use to sext and to hide sexting from their parents.