A 15-year-old student at Wiregrass Ranch High School was handcuffed and arrested Monday, accused of possessing child pornography.
The child porn was a picture the girl took of her 14-year-old friend performing a sex act on a 15-year-old boy. Detectives say both knew she was taking the picture.
But it's a felony, and Pasco Sheriff's Detective William Lindsey says the law exists to protect children from being sexually exploited through video and pictures, regardless of the circumstances.
"The law doesn't separate who's in possession of it. No child who is under the age of 18 should have their picture taken or video taken of them engaged in sexual conduct," Lindsey said.
Lindsey said the girl who took the picture had a falling out with the girl in the photo, so she started sending the photo out and showing it to students in the cafeteria. Then, she sent the picture to an 18-year-old student knowing he was going to post it to Twitter -- and he did.
"The principal called all the families yesterday, the phone call went out at 5 p.m., reminding parents to keep an eye on their students' electronic devices," said Pasco School District Spokeswoman Linda Cobbe. "Make sure they're friends with them on Facebook and the other programs. And then reminding students that it could ruin their lives to take pictures that are inappropriate."
Det. Lindsey says the amount of child porn being produced and disseminated by children themselves is astronomical.
"I think it's happening every day, in every school, in every county," he said.
The message to students: Don't do it. Know the consequences. The message to parents:
"If you can't pick up your daughter or your son's cell phone and look through the pictures and look through the content, then there's an issue," said Det. Lindsey. "If it's password protected and you don't have access to it, then how can you know what they're doing?"
The 18-year-old who detectives say posted the picture to Twitter will also be charged with possession of child pornography.
The sheriff's office and the school district say they're working together on programs and presentations to keep telling students how dangerous these kinds of pictures and videos are.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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