High School students taught sexting dangers

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) – Our kids use their cell phones, laptops and social networking sites to communicate with each other.  They also use them to send messages and pictures that could land them in front of a judge facing serious charges.

"The thing with the sexting, it sticks with you the rest of your life," said Range Weeks, a Walnut Ridge tenth grader.

Students got a crash course in what not to do on-line.

"It's very important that young folks understand at a young age they can be held criminally liable for things they do," said Stephen Svetz.

Stephen Svetz with the Arkansas Attorney General's office spent Tuesday morning sharing some tough facts with students that many didn't know.

"The circumstances if you get caught sexting or something like that I didn't know you could be registered as a sex offender," said Weeks.

"It's a crime for somebody to possess child porn but it's also a crime for someone to transmit it," said Svetz.

"Child pornography laws we take very seriously in the state," said Svetz.

Students from the Walnut Ridge middle school and another group from the high school were taught everything from the repercussions of sexting to how what you put on line about yourself can help a child predator find you!

"I didn't really ever think about people would know me from looking me up and seeing my basketball uniform," said Ashley Baker, a Walnut Ridge Senior.

The no-contact websites like facebook provides can lead to cyber-bullying, something students say does happen.

"Not just in our school, but all the time everybody does it at least once," said Weeks.

While kids can be told and shown the impact these things can have on their lives it doesn't usually hit home until something bad happens!

"We're just now getting started with our lives and we don't want to have a chip on our shoulder for the rest of our lives just because of a silly mistake," said Weeks.

A meeting was also held for parents on Tuesday night to let them know what their kids may be doing.  Svetz suggests you keep a close watch on what your friends are doing and posting on-line.

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