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Mom of "Sexting" Teen Speaks Out

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She defends her son.

teen boy with phone

The mother of a Greensburg Salem High School teenager involved in an alleged "sexting" scheme is speaking out, saying her son did nothing wrong.

Authorities said three teenage girls allegedly sent nude or semi-nude cell phone pictures of themselves to three male classmates. Those involved are facing charges, and the mother, who asked WPXI to have her identity concealed, said she is outraged.

Police said the girls are 14 or 15, and the boys charged with receiving the photos are 16 or 17. None are being identified because most criminal cases in Pennsylvania juvenile courts are not public.

"This is going to ruin his life," the boy's mother said. "My son did not know this girl. He had seen her around school, and it was texted to him. He did not take the picture."

The picture that prompted the arrests of six of the high school's students is of a female student. It was a self portrait in which she appeared completely nude, police said. The photo was discovered in October when a teacher confiscated a student's activated phone in class, which is a school violation.

During the police investigation, other phones with more pictures were seized.

"I could see if my son took the picture of the girl," the boy's mother said. "My son just received this as a text message, which by the way, the principal said the whole school had it on their phones."

The Greensburg Salem School District issued a statement on Tuesday saying there was "no evidence of inappropriate activity on school grounds or during the school day other than the violation of the (school's) electronic devices policy."

Police said the girls are being charged with manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography while the boys face charges that include sexual abuse of a child.

Do you think her son should be charged, or is this unfair?

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27 comments so far | Post a comment now
nipsy January 17, 2009, 11:40 AM

I agree to a point on this one. No, those who received the pictures should NOT be charged. The only ones who should be charged are the girl who took the picture, and the person who sent it out to everyone. However, this is part of what comes from teens having cell phones in school. There is absolutely no reason to have them there. NONE. If they need to call a parent for pick-up or other needs, that’s what the school phone and or payphone is for.

Anonymous January 17, 2009, 12:23 PM

teenage boys and girls are such sluts

BrendaRollins January 17, 2009, 12:55 PM

No one…. NO ONE. Should be able to SEND ANYTHING to ANYONE that includes via postal service, email, texting, UPS or horse back to someone and have the person receiving be responsible.
that is like taking a Polaroid or ? picture of yourself, then sending it to open phone book insert address and have that person be guilty of something. Totally on the girls in my opinion. Get a lawyer for both sides. Those girls will need one.

Anonymous January 17, 2009, 4:45 PM

He should have deleted the picture from his phone

Anonymous January 17, 2009, 6:29 PM

He should have deleted the picture, but the charges are too much. He will be forever labeled as a sex offender and will have to register every where he lives. I don’t think this is being handled correctly. I am not sure the girls should be charged either. I think a lesser charge might be more fitting. Maybe something that doesn’t make them sex offenders their whole life.

Anonymous January 17, 2009, 6:42 PM

Well, did anyone ask what he did with the photo when he received it? Did he then pass it on? I agree he should not be charged, however he probably was not real upset in getting the photo.

DD January 17, 2009, 10:09 PM

The only difference between the things that are going on today and things that were done 20 years ago is that now the evidence of those illicit behaviors is readily available to parents, teacher and police. In the eighties kids in school were smoking, drinking, smoking pot not to mention other drugs, oh and not just wearing sexing clothes (how many of you wore half shirts, micro mini skirts, & jeans with holes and not just in the knees?) Back then we didn’t have cellphones with cameras readily available to capture our sexual curiosity and the internet to eternally post it for the universe to see, but if we had I can only imagine the pictures that would have been taken. These kids (and I do meant all of them) have done NOTHING illegal!! One could make a moral argument that the girls should not be sending naked pictures of themselves to the boys… and yes the boys should have deleted the photos once received. However, this is a morals and values issue that should be handled at home by parents NOT by police and in courts.

Liz January 17, 2009, 11:45 PM

I agree that he should have deleated it. I also agree that if he just received it he should not be charged. However if he sent it to anyone eles or showed it to anyone then that needs to be considered. You don’t choose what you get, but you choose what to do with it from there. Kids these days feel they are free from consequences. That is not real life!

Nicole January 18, 2009, 1:00 AM

Call me crazy but what normal, hormonal 16/17 year old boy would erase a nude picture he received from a girl?! I’m in no way saying this “sexting” stuff it right, I think it’s pretty pathetic, but are we all forgetting what it was like to be that age? These kids are at the prime age of discovery, and unfortunately they are also of the era that supplies them with all kinds of new and “smart” gadgets. High school girls were showing pictures of themselves naked long before this, the only difference is they are getting caught now because technology has outsmarted them. I think there should be a punishment on the parental level and nothing more. This is not a police matter. Since when did the human body become such a terrible thing? Oh and one other question…why is the school going through phones when they confiscate them? What happened to taking something away and locking it in your drawer until the parents come to pick it up? I’m sorry, but these kids aren’t sexual predators or even perverts…they are just as curious as we all were once upon a time. How easy it is to forget and judge!

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mom January 19, 2009, 5:27 AM

Im the mother of one of the boys being charged for sexting in greensburg pa. my son goes to greensburg salem high school. first thing i need to clear up is that my son wasnt the boy friend. he didnt even know the girl ! another boy sent the pic to him ! (the whole school had the pics on there phone ) a couple months ago. 3 girls (ages 13 and 14)took naked pics of there self and sent it to some boys. the boys sent the pics all over the school. my son received the pics from another boy that had received it. my sons phone was taken during school for texting. the principle went through the phone and found the pics and turned the phone in along with over 20 others with the same pics. the district Attn. decided to press charge on 6 kids. the 3 girls who took the pics of there self. and 3 boys. my son being one of them. my son did nothing wrong. the police said that ,they had to charge him cause the pic was saved not deleted he also said that my son could have had sex with the girls and that would have been OK .but its not OK to have naked pics of them.. there charging my son with 3 counts of SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN . THIS MEANS HE COULD BE ON MEGANS LAW FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. ALL FOR HAVING A PIC ON HIS PHONE OF A GIRL HE DOESN’T KNOW. these are good kids that made a mistakes. what the girls did was wrong, but haven’t they paid enough ? don’t make them pay anymore. so what im trying to do is get the word out so people can see what is happening and how serious sexty is.these kids need are help.what they did was wrong, but there not sex offenders !People don’t realize that this can happen to anyone. what if someone would send you a txt joke, you opened it and there was a joke with a pic of a half naked person . you save it or you just don’t take the time to delete the pic. later someone finds it on your phone and it ends up that the person in the pic is 17 years old. YOUR GOING TO JAIL FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN ! this isn’t just about the kids its about all of us. Please help these kids . HELP ME CHANGE THE LAW TO FIT THIS CRIME! SO THAT OTHER KIDS DON’T HAVE THERE LIEFS RUINED (sorry about the grammar and spelling) One more thing that i would like to add. for all the people out ther who are saying that its the parents fault, your wrong! im sick of everyone blaming me. my son is going to be 17. i cant watch him 24/7 !

to mom January 19, 2009, 7:50 PM

As a mom of two teenage boys myself my heart goes out to you and your family. The charges against the kids are a misuse of the laws - laws that were intended to protect kids from predators are now destroying their lives. I hope that all the kids involved get cleared of all the charges.

mp January 20, 2009, 8:51 AM

To the mom who claims to be parent of one of these boys…. First of all, maybe your child should obey the school rules and pay a little attention to what is going on in class instead of texting in the first place. Secondly, if he has enough spare time that he feels he has the right to be texting in class clearly he should have a few extra seconds in his day to delete the porn from his phone. Lastly, I find it humoring that you feel it’s OK that your “kid” is carrying around a phone (that I’m sure you are paying for) with nude photos. For you to say he did “nothing wrong” gives everyone reading this a wonderful image of the kind of parenting you give.

mike ference January 20, 2009, 9:11 AM

Sadly, three Greensburg Salem (Westmoreland County, PA) students face criminal charges for sending semi-nude photos of themselves via their cell phones. Three male students were the recipients of the photos. Greensburg police have filed appropriate charges with Westmoreland County juvenile authorities charging the three high school girls with manufacturing, disseminating or possessing child pornography. The three high school boys found with the photos on their cell phones are charged with possession of child pornography.
According to published reports, in mid-November, a former high school principal who is now district director of student services was made aware of the photos which violated school district policies. The phones were confiscated and police were contacted. So in less than two months the alleged crimes were investigated and looks like justice will be served.
That is unless you are one of the few individuals to have followed the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal and obvious cover ups by Catholic Church Hierarchy. Why is it that the rape of innocent children still goes unpunished while texting of semi-nude photos by immature teenage girls and boy’s girls receives a more vigilant investigation and probable punishment than crimes committed by grown men against innocent children?
I’m sure the Greensburg Salem students involved have learned a hard lesson. And if they and their parents take the time to read even a portion of the Philadelphia Grand Jury investigation into the Philadelphia Archdiocese, perhaps they’ll learn another lesson – justice is not for dysfunctional sex freaks disguised as Catholic priests.

anonymous January 21, 2009, 3:01 PM

Seriously? If my son recieved a naked picture from some skank (what other type of girl would do that?) then I would press charges too. She NEEDS to be punished for her own sake before she thinks it’s normal and ends up getting knocked up, expecting society to fund the baby. To the person who talked about how it “used to be”, I was a teenager in the 80’s and I NEVER took naked pictures of myself for strangers.. or anyone else for that matter. That’s quite different from wearing mico-minis! Now, as to the boys’ involvement, I think that’s overboard. Yes, it should have been deleted…but they did not solicit the picture, so they should not be punished.

TRW January 21, 2009, 6:20 PM

ok, first off what right does ANYONE, but the parents, have to go through someone’s phone? So they were caught with the phone on, tell them to turn it off and take the phone away but they have no RIGHT to go through a private phone. 2, the charges against the kids both girls and boys are way way overboard!! The laws in this country are getting out of hand and abused. 3, thats what happens when our RIGHTS get curtailed and rolled over.
I wish the kids good luck ‘cause their going to need it.

hoolio February 10, 2009, 12:41 PM

wZFkvH hi! hooli?

Anonymous February 13, 2009, 10:11 AM

I have 2 boys. This is obsurd! It makes me not want to let my kids have a phone. Why aren’t the girls being charged as prostitutes and have that on their record?

James February 17, 2009, 7:37 PM

what i find interesting about the whole situation, being a male highschool student who has recieved these pictures before, i am 17 and the fact that the other persons phone was taken from them during school then looked through is probably illegal. When some1 at my school’s phone gets taken most student immediatley remove the battery. I am not 100% sure but i do believe that this is an invasion of privacy.

Aunt Fannie March 25, 2009, 4:15 PM

No liability for getting the photos
No search of your phone once confiscated (especially since you’re never going to find all the phones that have it)
No liability for sending photos of yourself. (This won’t affect child pornographers because it is not the victim of the porn, its the purveyor. So the person in the photo is never responsible if that person is child.)
See - very simple.

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