ROOSEVELT, Utah, June 6, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A sexting case involving a group of Union High School students is being investigated by Roosevelt Police Department, officials said Wednesday.
No charges have been filed at this time, Roosevelt City said in a news release on Facebook.
“At present, officers are awaiting evaluation of evidence from the state crime lab,” the news release said.
Because this is an active investigation involving minors, no further information can be released at present, officials said. Additional information will be made public as it becomes available.
The case was first brought to the attention of law enforcement officers in May of this year.
Roosevelt City offers the following advice for parents about sexting: Sexting, even between two minors, is considered illegal under Utah’s child pornography laws. Minors caught sexting can receive charges. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about sexting, or using a smartphone to send and receive explicit content. The American Academy of Pediatrics has provided the following tips for talking to youth about sexting.
1. Discuss sexting with your children, even if you believe the issue hasn’t directly impacted them. Begin by gauging what they understand sexting to be. Use questions like “Have you heard of sexting? What do you think it is?”
2. Use age-appropriate examples. For young children who may not yet know about sex, explain that messages should not contain pictures of people without their clothes on, kissing or touching in ways they’ve never seen. For older teens, be more specific. Emphasize that sexting often involves pictures of a sexual nature and is considered pornography.
3. Make sure that children of any age understand that sexting is serious and is considered a crime in many jurisdictions. Consequences can involve criminal charges, suspension from school, and more. Emphasize that digital files sent over the internet exist in some form forever, and can easily be shared without the sender’s permission or control.
4. Monitor news headlines about sexting to provide examples for your children of the potential serious consequences. Discuss ways they can respond if asked to participate in inappropriate messaging.
More resources for parents are available online here.
The post goes on: Teens involved in sexting may sometimes feel threatened, pressured, or coerced into exchanging messages that make them uncomfortable. Many times, they feel they cannot talk to a parent. University of Utah Healthcare has developed an app specifically to help teenagers who may be in crisis or struggling with a personal situation that has gotten out of control.
The SafeUT app is available for free on any Apple or Android device. It provides confidential access to trained counselors at any time of the day or night on any day of the year. Youth can call a CrisisLine to speak to a counselor directly, or open up a confidential chat window with a trained counselor. The app can also be used by teens who want to submit tips about friends or acquaintances that they feel might need help or guidance.
There are numerous resources to help youth and parents discuss and deal with the consequences of sexting. It is important to be educated on the dangers and potential legal charges associated with participating in sexting.