I have a 13 year old daughter who has both an Instagram and Snapchat account. On both platforms, and on others she has signed up for, she has been solicited for nude photos from friends and strangers.
It’s easy to block somebody or tell them to, “fuck off,” but that’s not the right thing to do, nor does it make the pain go away.
Did you know that a child asking another child for a nude photo is considered a very serious crime? And did you know that if convicted, a child can have a sex offender label attached to their record? I didn’t until I did some digging and called the Delaware County sheriff’s office and was redirected to the internet crime division, or the CID.
To investigate, the CID must comb through the phone of the victim. Once they investigate, they can prosecute, and ultimately, the child soliciting photos will be charged with a sex crime.
I don’t really think kids understand that their behavior on these devices are considered a real crime.
I know that in my daughter’s school, Springton Lakes in Media, PA, they receive internet awareness training in school, and training on how to use their school issued Chromebooks. But asking for nudes, and what to do when asked for nudes isn’t covered.
Students should know where to go when solicited for nudes and not be made to feel helpless. Being a child with a device is difficult enough.
I contacted the school asking her counselor if an assembly can be arranged with the CID. I feel as if they are pushing me off on this. These aren’t their devices that are being used. But the thing is, these are their students. They have a responsibility to educate here and provide a safe zone for learning.
Remember the just say no campaign? Officers would walk into school with their drug sniffing dogs and show us drugs and scare the hell out kids with horror stories. I remember one story an officer told about a guy who did so much cocaine that they burned a hole through the nostril bridge inside his nose. This person was able to put their finger up their right nostril, and the finger tip would come out their left nostril.
The CID offers a similar assembly. They can go into schools and talk to children about these crimes. I don’t think they could tell such a cool nostril story, but they can get the point across about the sex offender label.
I want the school’s attention on this. These are their students committing these crimes, and the victim’s are their students as well. If I don’t hear something positive from them, next step for me is to pen something for the local papers or get in front of the PTG. Children asking their classmates for nude photos needs to stop.
If your child is solicited for nudes, and you live in Delaware County, PA, call the CID and report the crime. Their number is: 610.891.4717. If you don’t live in DelCo, call your local sheriff’s office and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.