Plymouth-Whitemarsh students educated on consequences of sexting

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (WPVI) -- The 9th and 10th graders at Plymouth-Whitemarsh listened closely Thursday to law enforcement as they spoke to them about the consequences of high school sexting.

School officials said the session has long been planned, but it is especially timely in the wake of law enforcement officials now investigating inappropriate photos of students turning up on a file sharing website.

"Somebody started this Dropbox, and then there's, like, pictures of more upperclassmen, I'm pretty sure," said 9th grader Rylynn Trenbatch.

"It's not OK to take sexually explicit images of yourself, and send it to a boyfriend or girlfriend. It's not OK to retain those sexually explicit images that were sent to you by a friend or somebody else," said Chris Schwartz with Plymouth Township Police.

The law enforcement panel is promoting a new law that makes the charges less serious than promoting child porn. Minors 12 to 17 who share explicit photos can be hit with summary-level offenses.

Next week, a similar session will be held for 11th and 12th graders.

After the one-hour session, Action News spoke with students about what they took from the event.

"The stuff that's happened, it's not funny, it's not a joke, and people will get in trouble for it," said 10th-grader Kaleigh Branagh. "It's not something to mess around with."

So far, no one has been prosecuted in this growing sexting scandal, but sources tell Action News at least 150 individuals are now under criminal investigation by two local police departments and the Montgomery County district attorney.

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