Nude student photos shock local middle school
HAMILTON TWP., N.J. - May 14, 2008 (WPVI) -- Nude pictures have been making the rounds from cell phone to cell phone at Reynolds Middle School in Hamilton Township, Mercer County, N.J.
It's happened before at high schools, but police say it's happening more frequently now at this level.
"I don't know what's going through their minds," said parent Tim Hicks.
Parents are unnerved, but the kids say it's no big deal, happens all the time.
Apparently a middle school girl took nude photos of herself and sent them to her boyfriend.
They broke up and the photos have spread like wildfire.
They may already be on the internet.
New Jersey State Police detective Cy Bleistine says "If that went out rather quickly, and friends told ten friends, and so on, that picture's gone."
The New Jersey State Police are trying to get the word out to parents, and their children.
Cell phones with cameras are everywhere.
A snapshot can circle the globe in seconds.
And once it's out there, it's there forever.
A childish whim can quickly turn into a lifetime of regret.
Kids this age often don't stop and think.
"They are just living in that moment," says Bleistine, "not thinking down the road with these other implications."
Tim Hicks has tried to drive the lesson home to his daughters...no photos or personal information on the internet.
And he's talked to his middle school daughter about the photos that are circulating here.
"We've already had a conversation about how we as a family feel about those kind of things, and how she should respond."
The school appears to be doing everything it can to keep it quiet.
We tried to talk with principal Joseph Slavin.
"Any comment will have to come from the superintendent's office," he said. Our phone calls to the superintendent's office have gone unanswered.
But the state police want the word out. New Jersey has a law that makes it illegal to transmit sexually explicit photos without the consent of the person in them. The kids who are doing it could be prosecuted.
local/state, david henry
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