POLICE are investigating incidents at a local high school.
They were unable to confirm if a high school girl had pornographic images taken of her and then posted on an indecent website that encourages men and boys to share and hunt for photos of “targets”.
The high school’s principal, who cannot be named for risk of identifying the student, said parents received a note with a reminder to have a discussion with teenagers about behaving appropriately online and staying safe.
He confirmed that police were involved in a “recent issue about inappropriate images involving a very small number of students”.
“We also spoke with our classes to educate students about staying safe and reminded them that inappropriate images or online posts can have far-reaching consequences,” he said.
The children involved will not be suspended as police are investigating. Instead, the school will re-educate students about these matters.
An Australian Federal Police (AFP) spokesperson said it was important for teenagers to note that creating, accessing or distributing child pornography was a serious offence, even if the offender was a child they were you are a child yourself.
Following the revelation that students across Australia had been sharing inappropriate images, the school sent out a letter to parents in relation to “a couple of unrelated incidents whereby students sent inappropriate images of themselves to others, which have then been circulated within a small group,” the note said”.
“The school is taking this matter very seriously, and will address the issue with all students,” the note said.
“This practice enables shared photographs to appear across the internet and could potentially lead to criminal prosecution.”
The note asked that students who may have received these messages, Snapchats or Instagram posts to delete them immediately to avoid further repercussions.
A parent at the school told the Weekend Courier the incident involved a junior school student sharing images with her boyfriend.
The AFP spokesperson said they welcome the recent removal of the offending website.
“Wherever material such as this is identified, the AFP will continue to work closely with its domestic and international partners to determine appropriate courses of action.
Child pornography offences have a maximum penalty of 15 years of imprisonment,” the spokesperson said.
Parents can access the ThinkUKnow program to learn more about staying safe online at ThinkUKnow.