Civil Liberties

High School Superintendent: Teen Sexting Is a Police Matter

Two teens send nude selfies. Police spend several weeks, interview 25 students to "investigate."


Alex Akopyan/Flickr

From suburban Chicago, another tale of teens being treated like criminals for sharing sexually oriented photos with each other. Four students at Ridgewood High School, in the suburb of Norridge, now face possible charges for "dissemination of harmful material to a minor," police said. Those charged include two girls, 15 and 17, who sent nude photos of themselves via Snapchat and two male teens who received the photos and forwarded them to others. Another student overheard classmates discussing it and ratted them out to school officials, who ratted them out to the police. 

Why the sex lives of teens should be subject to school discipline is suspect enough, but it's extra perplexing what interest the government has in such matters. We're talking about teens using private phones and communications platforms to exchange photos. It may not be the most wise move to send nude selfies to your crush, but criminal? Surely police resources could be used in better ways?

At Ridgewood High, the investigation "spanned several weeks" and involved police interviews with 25 students, the Chicago Tribune reports. "When asked whether there was in-school punishment for the students, [Ridgewood Superintendent Jennifer] Kelsall said it was a police matter that had been handled."

More recent instances of teen sexting criminalization and hysteria here, here, here, here, and here