January 17, 2008
Farmington, UT (The Weekly Vice) -- Police are investigating Farmington Junior High School students who were recently caught trading nude pictures of themselves with other students via their cell phones. The discovery included images of 13 and 14 year old students exposing their genitals to each other along with other nude shots.
Police were contacted when a concerned parent reportedly found sexually explicit photos on her child's cell phone according to Lt. Shane Whitacker of the Farmington Police Dept. This is the third time students have been caught exchanging the images.
School officials, who are also investigating the incident, speculate there may be 8 or 9 students who participated in the exchange, but have brought disciplinary action against just 3 of the students thus far. The district has refused to disclose what actions were taken.
Christopher Williams, a spokesman for the district claims the Junior High took action because "their behavior intruded on other student's learning process." he added "The district allows cell phones, but confiscates them when they are used inappropriately."
The Weekly Vice Reaction:
The Vice believes that part of the problem here starts with a school who really teeters on the edge of getting themselves sued. Obviously this is an ongoing problem at the school, and the reason for that may be found in the district spokesman's comments.
The district's chief concern is that the photos might be disruptive to the learning process. What? Distribution of pornography, child pornography at that, didn't register as the major concern? What about the illegality of a minor possessing and distributing the nude imagery? Does this mean students are free to distribute nude photos to one another during their lunch hour? Of course not, right? How would you know this from the knocky-kneed response from the school?
Our problem is not so much with the students in the case. Whether it's spin the bottle, truth or dare or cell phone photos, teenagers will always figure out ways to satisfy their curiosity. But the rubber ruler attempts of the district to take the issue seriously sends a strong message about what it finds moderately acceptable off the record, so long as a teacher isn't interrupted in class.
The Weekly Vice located the district's Internet safety information statement which included almost nothing about what the district does NOT allow within it's walls. The statement basically explains why the Internet is so prevalent among students. It then goes on to teach the reader the proper shorthand that students often use to text message each other through instant messaging and phone texting. This should help crack down on student text messaging during a class, eh?
Thumbs down to the defeatist, student whipped district who has seemed to have glossed over the age factor here.
The Weekly Vice
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