San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department teamed up with the Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) to discuss “Sexting: Teen Criminal Trend” with concerned parents on February 10, 2020.
Clark Morrow, a Crime Prevention Program coordinator from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, and MaryRone Shell, a Community Outreach Communication and Social Media Specialist from the Redlands Unified School District, met with concerned parents and students to bring greater awareness to the dangers of teen sexting.
Although with a fair turnout, RUSD’s board room was silent when Mr. Morrow described how easily underage youth commit prison-sentencing crimes related to illegal sext-messages. With girls as young as 10-years old sending nude photos of themselves to others, an emphasis on policing apps was a topic many parents had questions about afterward.
Morrow explained how predators use social media apps such as Kik to prey on kids as young as nine-years-old. He added how there was an incident in “Amino” that there were young girls submitting a bare-chested photo of themselves to prove they are females for a so-called “young girls only” group.
He explained how sexting among teens often leads to revenge porn, cyber-bullying, threats, intimidation, humiliation, blackmail, harassment, and even suicide. As was the case with Jessica Logan of Cincinnati, Ohio and Hope Witsell of Sundance, Florida.
When Morrow’s presentation covered California law, all in attendance heard legal terms such as child porn and exploitation charges, up to 20-year prison terms, lifetime registration requirements as a sex offender, and many more.
The message seemed to ring clear with everyone in the room, but all questions presented afterward were provided with solid responses. According to Mr. Morrow, the best thing a concerned parent or older sibling can do to help prevent a loved one from falling victim or breaking the law “is to visit smartsocial.com and familiarize themselves with everything there is to know about specific websites and social media apps.”