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Cumberland school leaders educate parents about seriousness of sexting

Posted January 11

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— Sexting is a growing problem among teenagers that can result in a criminal record, but school leaders in Cumberland County are working to educate parents about the serious consequences that can come from sending nude photos.

Superintendent Frank Till said that, in the first of three meetings held Monday night at Westover High School, he will talk with parents about multiple topics, including the seriousness of sexting.

"I became more knowledgeable about all the felonies that these children - standing in front of a bathroom mirror taking a picture of themselves and sending it - are breaking. They have broken several felonies as far as pornography," he said.

In August, a 17-year-old Jack Britt High School football player was charged with four felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. Cormega Copening was accused of taking nude photos of himself and sending them to his 16-year-old girlfriend, Brianna Benson. Benson was also charged with a felony.

While the charges against both students were eventually dropped in a plea deal, their parents were shocked by the pictures and the serious charges.

"I think in general that parents are overwhelmed by what their kids know with technology," Till said. "Our children are always ahead of us, so children are able to do something that we don't keep up with."

Till said he will help explain to parents what they can do to keep their kids out of technology trouble. He is also working with law enforcement agencies to develop on-campus workshops for students.

"We can just tell them straight up that this is a felony, and if they do it, there is a possibility of prosecution for breaking a law," Till said. "Why wreck your life over a silly picture?"

Two additional meetings are scheduled for Jan. 25 at Pine Forest High School and Feb. 1 at South View High School.


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