Oh no! Students in a Canon City, Colorado school, have been caught trading “nude pictures of themselves and other teenagers on their phones using special apps to keep the imagers secret”, the New York Times reports. A two-day investigation that started Monday suggests that at least 300 to 400 illicit photos, involving over 100 students, have been circulated. Some students may have been in the 8th grade. Some of the photos were taken on school property!
The problem now becomes, what do you do with these students? Expel them from school? Charge them with felonies that may relate to computer-assisted sexual conduct or pornographic dissemination crimes? Have all the guilty offenders register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives? So many questions have arisen as a result of these scandalous revelations. Absent adult participation here is a possible solution: Bring the students together and explain the rules, let them know why such conduct will not be acceptable in the future, and tell them why. Participation in group settings where students engage in displays of nudity among themselves is not anything new—only now, the methodology is instant and can be submitted from afar. As the superintendent of the school district George Welsh, rightfully said, “deal with childhood mistakes as childhood mistakes”. We would add, to the extent possible, keep the police and the prosecutors out of the equation. Let the school officials and parents handle this.