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Students in a Colorado high school possibly face felony charges for texting lewd photos. Hundreds of images have been exchanged and stored on phones using an app that is masked as a calculator, CNN reports.
Officials have not yet disclosed how many students are involved in the sexting scandal at Cañon City High School, but it appears to be big trouble for many. Convictions could lead to sex offender status for the kids. Police have seized several phones with hundreds of photos.
The school issued a Facebook post, saying, "It has come to the attention of the Cañon City School District that a number of our students have engaged in behavior where they take and pass along pictures of themselves that expose private parts of their bodies or their undergarments."
Some students have already been suspended. Anyone involved faces class three felony charges, according to the statement. Local police plan to identify all involved using the seized images.
Cañon City Police Chief Paul Schultz said, "We haven't interviewed anybody yet. We're in the process of obtaining search warrants. We're in the process of coordinating forensic investigations of cell phones."
Schools Superintendent George Welsh told reporters that some of the photos may have been taken on campus. But he stressed that problem was not unique to his district "There isn't a school in the United States probably at this point that hasn't at some point dealt with the issue of sexting," Welsh said.
Let's take a moment for all the poor unsuspecting parents that imagined their kids' calculators were fostering a love for figures ... and were right. Jane and Johnny are into figures -- each others' apparently.
It is disconcerting to think that teens across America are sending and storing sexy selfies using apps that are masked as calculators and media players. Superintendent Welsh explained that the photo vault app looks innocuous but, for those in the know, an extra long push of a button will lead to a password prompt ... and photos.
"Once you enter that password, then any messages that have been sent from photo vault to photo vault start coming up," Welsh said. The app is "a little bit like Snapchat," he added. "You can choose for the photo not to be able to remain on the device."
Little has been reported on the legality of the app and, arguably, there is nothing wrong with a photo storage system. But the masking aspect indicates that the app is designed for deception and it is likely that makers of such tools will find themselves on the defense soon too if they target youth.
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