Bossier sheriff confirms teen sexting investigation - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Bossier sheriff confirms teen sexting investigation

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At a news conference Wednesday morning, Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington confirmed an ongoing investigation into "sexting" and the social media sharing of inappropriate photos. At a news conference Wednesday morning, Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington confirmed an ongoing investigation into "sexting" and the social media sharing of inappropriate photos.
BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Some Bossier Parish teens could face criminal charges over the sharing of nude and semi-nude photos of high school students in social media.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington confirmed an ongoing investigation into "sexting" and the social media sharing of inappropriate photos. 

Whittington says the investigation involves "several teens in our area," and could lead to criminal charges that could include sexting and child pornography.

With that confirmation came a warning from Whittington: "If you feel you want to engage in sending or receiving nude photos, or videos on your cell phones or post them on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, or even create websites with these messages. Just know this, law enforcement will track you down, we can get subpoenas, we will get your cell phone records, we can get your IP address, we will come find you. We will come arrest you."

According to Whittington, local school resource officers have told him that the problem has been escalating in our schools over the past few years. Vowing to take action to educate children and parents on why sending nude photos of themselves or others can have devastating consequences, Whittington says, "Not only have young people been exploited, violated or embarrassed, but we have seen across the nation where these actions have led to suicide, a truly horrific end of a precious life."

Complaints from parents in recent days prompted the investigation, according to Whittington. Now, he says he is working closely with the District Attorney's Office, the Bossier Parish School Board and city law enforcement agencies to address the issue.

A letter was sent home with Bossier Parish students on Wednesday encouraging parents to talk with their children about the "dangers and consequences of engaging in these behaviors."

The letter says, "The Bossier Parish School System pledges its full cooperation to the Sheriff's Office in taking an active role in heightening awareness and educating both students and parents about this serious issue," and "It is imperative we all work together as partners to protect our children from this pervasive societal problem."

Here are the tips from the Bossier Sheriff's Office that are being shared with Bossier Parish parents:

Here are some tips parents can take to help prevent sexting and child pornography.

First, be their parent and get involved in their lives.   Talk to your children, get in their business, and if you know they are engaging in sexting or child pornography, let them know you will not tolerate this type of activity. 

Monitor your child's use of their cell phones or computers.  Set boundaries on their cell phone use or even limit the number of texts that can be sent per month.       

Teach your children about the dangers associated with sexting and child pornography, such as criminal charges they could face.

Encourage your children NOT to respond to or forward any sexting messages or videos they receive.

Help your children understand that once they post a photo or video to a social media site or send to a ‘friend', the photo or video is now out there for others to see, even if they delete it from their own source.

Sexting may be a way your child is crying out for help.  Again, it goes back to the first point – be their parent and get to know what is going on in their lives.

If your child or another child you know is a victim of sexting or child pornography, please contact your local law enforcement agency to report it.  Don't delay. 

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