The photos you post online or the text messages you send can haunt you for years to come. That’s the message prosecuting attorneys across Indiana are sharing with young people. Starke County Prosecutor Nick Bourff says so-called sexting — the sending and posting of inappropriate images — can get you in a lot of trouble.
He says young people often don’t realize they’ve done something illegal until after they get in trouble. He adds that’s not a defense when you’re facing serious charges.
Bourff met last week with the superintendents at all three county school corporations to discuss the problem. He also gave them brochures to distribute to middle and high school students that explain various scenarios.
“For instance, a couple is dating, and a girlfriend sends her boyfriend some inappropriate pictures. Two weeks later they’re broken up, and he’s got these pictures on his phone, and he’s sending these out to his buddies or posting them online. Well, depending on how old those students are, you’ve potentially just broken quite a few laws there.”
Bourff says he’s trying to get out in front of the issue before it becomes a problem locally. So far no local issues have been reported, and he wants to keep it that way by raising awareness.
He encourages parents to educate themselves about the issue and talk to their children about the consequences their online actions may carry.