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Officials say teenage sexting a growing problem

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

Officials say it is a growing problem in Eastern Kentucky high schools and it is getting harder to track.

It is called sexting--sending nude images of yourself through text messages or phone apps.

It is a quiet danger that is lurking in the hands of a growing number of teenagers.

"We have had instances where people have sent graphic images over their tablets or their phones and it got into the wrong hands," said Pikeville Police Officer Tony Conn.

Officials say sexting is getting more popular among high schoolers in the area, but many may not realize all the problems it presents.

"When it goes to someone else remember it's not going to be private anymore. They're probably going to share it and maybe use that against you, and that's kind of a form of cyber bullying," said Conn.

One thing administrators at Pikeville High School are telling parents to keep an eye out for are photo locker apps. Many of them look like calculator apps but are actually used to hide pictures. One simple search for them in the app store brings up more than 500 results.

"It's ok to trust your child, but trust with verification," said PHS Principal Michael Rowe.

They say other apps like Snapchat make it easy to send photos under the illusion they are gone within seconds.

"Anything that's on an iPhone is forever on an iPhone. They can tell who sent you the picture, who you sent the picture to, what picture was on your phone and how long you looked at that picture," said Rowe.

Police say sexting is not immune to the law.

"There is no sexting law in the state of Kentucky yet, but the way prosecutors have been doing it they've been using the pornography laws," said Conn.

Meaning you could face felony charges with the click of a camera.

Officials suggest parents regularly check their children's apps and text messages to make sure they are not involved in these activities.

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