MILLERSVILLE, Md. - Anne Arundel County police are investigating several complaints from residents involving partially nude, nude, or sexually explicit photographs of juveniles being posted on social networking websites.
In many of the postings, Anne Arundel County High School is referenced.
Police said the investigation has found that most of the images do not rise to the level of child pornography under Maryland law.
Police are recommending parents speak with their children and explain to them the possible repercussions and dangers of taking photographs of themselves in a partially nude, nude, or sexually explicit manner then posting on the Internet.
The Anne Arundel County Police Department is focused on educating the public regarding the dangers and consequences of sexting.
According to police, here are some tips on what parents can do to help:
- Again, from day one with a digital device, make it clear to your child that having that device is a privilege and not a right.
- Along with that privilege, your child should be aware that you have the right and responsibility to monitor your child’s activities on the device.
- You should always know the passcodes to all of their devices.
- Parental controls and applications are available to help monitor their children’s phone and internet usage.
- A lot of sexting occurs under peer pressure when groups of kids are together.
- Collecting cell phones at parties or at sleepovers and so forth may help.
Discuss the news
- There is no shortage of incidents involving teens and sexting in the news, as well as news about the negative consequences that resulted.
- Bring these evens to your child’s attention and discuss.
- Discuss these issues with the school and other parents.
- Schools can do workshops for both parents and kids.
- Other parents sometimes have advice or experiences to share that can be helpful.
- Kids are way more tech-savvy than their parents.
- Take the time to learn about the sites they are using and how they work.
- It may actually be a great way to spend time with your child because most kids get pretty excited to teach adults how to navigate the digital world.