Teens and "sext-ing" can go too far

By Chauncy Glover - bio | e-mail 

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - You may not know if your child is "text-ually" active.

The days of passing love letters are over.  Teenagers have a new high tech way of flirting. It's called "sext-ing"--sending nude or explicit pictures via text message through cell phones.

It's a growing trend, especially for high schoolers around the country.

"Some of the things made me blush, just hearing them. Its the biggest problem we have, whether it be text-ing or sext-ing, anyway its a rapid problem in our school and we're trying to find ways to curve that," says local teacher, Scott Black.

We caught up with some local students, who say they get explicit text messages on a daily basis.

One student got one while we were interviewing him.

"I can't believe she sent this to me. I was like Oh my gosh. Wow," he says.

"Really really graphic because it was just that bad,"adds another Columbus student.

The little device can cause big problems. One photo can be sent to hundreds of people in the matter of seconds and can end up on the internet or in the hands of the wrong person.

"There was this one chick whose boyfriend asked her to do something and she did it. When they broke up, he got mad at her and sent it to everybody on the baseball team," added one student.

But be aware the consequences can be more than embarrassing.

It may be a felony for children under 18 to not only receive one of these pictures on their phone, but taking a photo and sending it could lead to pornography production and distribution charges. Four middle school students were recently arrested for sending nude photos of themselves.

"Like many other forms of technology, there's a lot of great things and then the misuse of it can cause a problem, especially in the educational world where we're trying to keep kids on focus," added Black.