Nearly four dozen North Georgia high school students are facing disciplinary action for circulating nude photos of classmates around the school, district officials said Wednesday.
Union County Schools Superintendent John Hill told Channel 2 Action News that 46 of the high school’s 850 students have gotten caught up in the sexting scandal, which could have led to felony child pornography charges.
He said a parent tipped off school officials to the photographs last month.
“It’s just a very large problem,” Hill told the news station. “They take lewd photographs of themselves and send them to another person ... This has been very disturbing to our high school and our school system.”
The superintendent said punishment for the students ranges from short-term suspension to alternative school, depending on the severity of each teenager’s actions.
“In Georgia, if you’re under the age of 18, it’s actually manufacturing and distribution of child pornography,” Hill said. “Most of the kids do not have a clue that they are committing a crime.”
On Wednesday, representatives from the GBI and the Union County District Attorney’s Office gave presentations to middle and high school students at the Blairsville schools, warning them about the dangers of sexting and telling students the nude photos could end up in the hands of child predators.
“It’s important to educate the children and educate the parents on the seriousness of this crime,” Hill said.