This disturbing trend continues to gain popularity.
Three teenage girls who allegedly sent nude or semi-nude cell phone pictures of themselves, and three male classmates in a western Pennsylvania high school who received them, are charged with child pornography.
Police in Greensburg, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, say 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, reports the Associated Press.
Police say Greensburg Salem High School officials learned of the photos in November when a student was seen using a cell phone during school hours, which violates school rules.
The phone was seized and the photos were found on it. When police investigated, other phones with more pictures were seized.
This case is more evidence of a growing teen trend. Cases have been reported in Colorado, New Jersey, New York, Alabama, Utah, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Ohio, and Connecticut, and the practice appears to be gaining popularity.
Last month, we told you about the cheerleaders who got booted off the squad in Washington after sending racy pics to other students. Two of the girls' parents are suing the school district over it.
In October, we told you about an Ohio girl who faced felony charged and may have to register as a sex offender after taking nude photos and sending them to classmates.
The perception among teens is that sending nude photos is cute or funny, according to attorney Ronald Dunn. But he says sharing such photos meets the federal definition of child pornography ... and breaks the law. But even if your teen doesn't get charged with a felony, the photos can end up being forwarded to everyone in school, causing devastation and ongoing humiliation.
Teens have told prosecutors the photo trading is fueled by students vying for attention from the opposite sex. A girl likes a guy, so she sends a nude picture of herself to him -- or vice versa.
"Parents ought to handle this by keeping track of their kids or taking away their cell phones," prosecutor Craig Halls says. Another attorney encourages parents to consider whether their children need to have cameras with their cell phones -- or whether the teens need phones at all.
Do you check your teen's cell phone pictures? If not, will you now?