Two Barrington middle school boys have been charged with possession of child pornography for sexting sexually explicit photos and videos of classmates, the Barrington Police Department announced Thursday.
One of the boys disseminated videos and photos of fellow students and the other transmitted photos and was in possession of a video, police said. The boys sent the illicit material to a large group of classmates.
Both of the boys, who were not named, were released to their families and will face charges in juvenile court.
“These students and their parents find themselves in a severe situation. Their futures may be forever stamped by the careless use of an app, the tease of a text message, the unthinking post of an indecent photo,” District 220 Superintendent Tom Leonard said in a statement on the district website.
Police urged parents to use the arrests as an opportunity to discuss sexting and other technology safety issues with their children. The tips include:
- “Talk with your student and set guidelines on appropriate use of their phones. This means no inappropriate texts or embarrassing photos or videos. Photos and videos have lasting effects when shared via social media.
- Teens must REPORT any nude pictures they receive on a technology device to a trusted adult, such as a parent or a school counselor. They should not delete the message. Instead, they should involve parents or guardians, teachers or school counselors immediately.”
All parents and students are invited to hear a speaker from the Illinois Attorney General’s High-Tech Crime Bureau at 6:30 p.m. May 20 at the Station Middle School commons. Parents are invited the next morning at 9 a.m. to a panel discussion on Internet safety and sexting at the Guidance Resource Center at Barrington High School.
Earlier this week, school officials in Batavia said they were investigating an incident of sexting among middle school students.