By Steev Riccardo
Local police authorities are working with FBI agents to solve the problem of who stole photos of teenage girls from more than a dozen high schools in Massachusetts and posted them on a website which contains pornographic material.
"Two weeks ago the district attorney’s office was proactive and they sent out an e-mail to everyone giving us a heads-up that this was transpiring, that people were taking pictures off of Facebook and they didn’t know if they were cropping bodies on the faces of kids," said Oxford High School Principal Kevin Wells.
Wells and his staff have been doing everything they can to alert parents and educate the kids. "Consequently whatever you put on Facebook is not private. Kids may think it is, but nothing is private once you put it on the World Wide Web. Kids are being exposed in a negative way by these people, and certainly not necessarily because they are."
Webster police officer Cindy Johnson, who works mostly with Bartlett High School and has an office at the school said, "The site is getting the photos from Facebook, putting them on its site and requesting pictures or nude pictures of the girls they are putting up on that site."
Everyone you talk to at the schools all say the same thing. It’s up to parents essentially to monitor what their children are doing on Facebook and on the Internet in general. Teachers and law enforcement can only do so much.
Oxford’s Principal Wells said, "Our Superintendent of Schools, Allen Himmelberger, sent out a bulletin for every kid, Pre-K to 12, to take home to his/her parents, warning them about what is happening and how important it is for parents to keep track of their kids’ activity on the Internet.
"We plan on reiterating the message to kids in the spring, the weaknesses and exposures that you have with Facebook and other forms of social media."
Interim Bartlett High School Principal Stephen Dlott addressed the students last week by intercom about the matter and also instructed teachers to explain to students what you post on Facebook can easily be copied and used by others.
Officer Johnson has personally spoken to parents about the risks that come with what you post on Facebook.
"Some of the kids’ dressing is very risqué. A lot of parents who I checked with say that they do monitor their children’s Facebook. However, some of the pictures that I see there are very alarming in the fact that they are walking around like that."
At this point authorities only know that the site in question is being operated from overseas. The case is being handled by a higher authority said Johnson, "The FBI is involved so they will have a better chance of getting something done faster then local police would."
In the meantime, parents should make sure that kids have their privacy settings in place on the social network site and also be aware of what kind of photographs they are posting on line.
- Tuesday, 21 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Region