WGAL.com: CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Last week, eight Perry County teens were charged with child pornography for allegedly recording sex acts on their cell phones and sending them to others.
Now police are in the beginning stages of a large-scale investigation at a Franklin County high school.
"I didn't even know what sexting was. My daughter had to tell me," said parent Sally Cournoyer.
Sexting -- recording sexual acts and transmitting them to others via cell phones -- is something that is traceable and punishable by law. Police reports state that as many as 30 students at Chambersburg Senior High School could be involved in a recent sexting incident.
The school district found out about it after students came forward to teachers and an anonymous tip line.
"There possibly was an e-mail out, circulating among students that had explicit pictures of students within the high school," said Assistant Superintendent Eric Michael.
"There are photos of some young ladies that are in various stages of nudity," said Chambersburg Police Chief Dave Arnold.
One parent said the incident is an eye opener for both students and parents.
"They have to realize it's not going to stop at their one friend," said Cournoyer.
"Our job will be to chase down who had these, who transmitted them and go back to the D.A.'s office and consult with them," said Arnold.
Schools Re-Evaluate Internet Safety Training
With other cases of sexting, school officials thought they had prepared students by giving them Internet safety training.
"We're very concerned that this message, for some reason, is not getting through. We want to look at how we're delivering that," said Michael.
Now school officials and police are trying to figure out how to handle technology that can make things easier, but in this case, more complex.
"Unfortunately, as the law exists right now, a student could be charged with a felony. That could have a lot of repercussions for them into the future," said Arnold.
Assistant superintendent Michael said he wants to make sure discipline in this case is appropriate, but also does not "impair or impede a student's life forever."
News 8 looked into how common it is for teens and students to see or post sexually explicit messages online.
A survey conducted last year by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reveals that 20 percent of teens surveyed have posted nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves online. The survey also found that 39 percent of teens surveyed have sent or posted sexually suggestive messages.
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