HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Police are investigating the distribution of an inappropriate photo among middle-school aged children.
Sgt. Jason Price with the Hampton Police Division said a 12 year-old Hampton girl took an inappropriate picture of herself through a private messenger application. The photo was taken Saturday, March 8 and sent to other students who attend Thomas Eaton Middle School.
Monday, a student told school officials about the picture, which initiated a police investigation.
Police tell WAVY.com it’s not yet clear if the picture was passed around while the students were in school. If the investigation proves the photo was distributed in school, the students could face school punishment, in addition to potential criminal charges.
Police and Hampton school officials are encouraging and requesting parents talk to their children about the risks involved with social media and taking inappropriate photos. Price said taking an inappropriate picture of yourself and sending it out is still a violation of child pornography laws, which could be charged as a felony.
So far, no charges have been filed in the investigation. However, the investigation is ongoing.
Eaton Middle School’s principal, Mark Hudson, sent the following message about the incident out to parents:
Good Afternoon Eaton Parents, This is Mr. Hudson, calling to inform you of some information we have discovered. An inappropriate picture has been disseminated among a small number of our students via a messaging application outside of school. It was reported to school administrators yesterday. We have been working with our school resource officer and the Hampton Police Dept. on the investigation that has continued into today. From the information we have gathered, all of the parents of the students who had access to the photo have been notified. We encourage parents to help us reinforce with our students how important it is to use social media responsibly and we appreciate how our students provide us with information about events that take place outside of school that have the potential to impact our learning environment.