School to host “sexting” assemblies

B y Derek Liebig

The Whitehall Central School District will seek to educate students and parents about the repercussions of “sexting” during a pair of forums next Tuesday.

Representatives from the FBI, New York state police, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services (STAR) and the Whitehall Police Department will speak with students and members of the community during two assemblies on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

An assembly for students and faculty will be held at approximately 1 p.m. and a second assembly, for parents (students are welcome to attend, as well), will be held at 6 p.m. Both events will be held in the Whitehall High School auditorium.

“There will be experts on hand who can discuss what’s happening and what could happen,” Kelly McHugh, high school principal said. “It will also be an opportunity for parents and students to ask questions.”

The forum is a follow up to last month’s news that dozens, mostly from Whitehall, had sent or shared via electronic means, explicit photos of underage girls.

While police have not ruled out the possibility that some of those involved could be arrested and face felony charges, the immediate response from local authorities and school officials has been the need for further education.

McHugh said the sharing of photos has become commonplace among teenagers but students and parents need to recognize what is appropriate and what is not.

She said she highly recommends parents of elementary school children attend the forum.

“They’d be wise to attend because soon their children are going to have cell phones.”

Late last year, news broke that a half-dozen law enforcement agencies were investigating a “sexting” scandal in which more than 50 students shared photos of approximately 20 underage girls.

The investigation began after a parent discovered that a girl had sent an inappropriate photo to her boyfriend using her cell phone. The boyfriend then shared the photo with others.

Police discovered the incident was isolated and a number of girls had shared explicit photos with similar results. The photos were then traded amongst boys like they were baseball cards.

The photographs were not shared on school grounds and school officials did not have knowledge of the case until they were informed of the matter by police last fall, authorities said.

At that time, “there was a brain-storming session” between state police, village police, Sexual Trauma and Recovery Services and school officials about corrective action.

McHugh said the district’s guidance counselors and school psychologist have been made available to students to help “pick up the pieces.” She also said a counselor from STAR is at the school every Wednesday to speak with students.

Tuesday’s assemblies will seek to build upon the corrective action local officials have put in place.

 

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: ,

Excitement continues at the Washington County Fair

fair go round

By Dan King and Krystle S. Morey Holy smokes! The final days of the fair are here already! The Washington […]

Shoppers’ ‘points’ can help schools get tools

art sci dog fish cut up web

By Krystle S. Morey Granville residents can earn free supplies, musical instruments and playground equipment for their school simply by […]

Fundraiser for boy injured in ATV accident Saturday

Logan Pease

By Dan King Since 11-year-old Logan Pease was struck by a vehicle while riding his ATV in May, the community […]

Dirty water plagues users

The Orchard in North Granville

By Krystle S. Morey Several North Granville residents were plagued with dirty tap water last week after a local nursing […]

Washington County Fair Aug. 22-28

Jaxon Beebe, of Granville (2)

By Dan King and Krystle S. Morey Holy smokes! It’s fair time! With an attendance of 120,000 annually, the Washington […]

County seeks PILOT for new solar projects

county board of supervisors

By Dan King The Washington County Board of Supervisors wants Borrego Solar to pay some money for its solar project […]

Granville ends solar tax breaks

Solar front

By Krystle S. Morey Granville has opted out of the state’s solar tax exemption, which means solar installations being built […]

‘Go Horde’ signs paint town blue, gold

pond

By Krystle S. Morey Many may have noticed the dozens of “Go Horde” banners that have popped up around Granville […]

Whitehall man corresponds with former president

Former president Jimmy Carter (Credit: The Carter Center)

By Dan King It’s not every day you get a note from a former president. However, a Whitehall man received […]

Classifieds 08/17/16

Lakes Region Freepress – 08/12/16

Lakes Classifieds – 08/12/16