The Moore American

November 14, 2012

Provocative photos don’t stay as private as sender believes

The Moore American

MOORE — Question: I am a teacher in a local district. The other day I walked up to a group of students (male) who were circled up in the hall. To make a long story short, they were looking at a cell phone which had a picture of the owner’s naked girlfriend. I didn’t look at it, but I heard them discussing it. Please let everyone know that this is a huge deal that is becoming more and more common.

— Name Withheld by Request

Answer: We couldn’t agree more! The rise in sexting is phenomenal. The embarrassment and tears caused for both males and females, as well as reputations ruined and hurt to families, continue to amaze us. What we think students don’t understand is if you send a picture of yourself, it is NOT just going to the person it was sent.

As in your case, there is a group looking and laughing. Both boys and girls are eager to share these prized possessions of even their closest relationships not realizing that charges can be filed for possession of pornography and sexual harassment.

We could fill this entire page with horror stories of trusting people who thought no one else would see their picture. Everyone needs to work on the assumption that if something is sent, it’s being shared and could possibly end up on the Internet.

Thanks for writing in and for all you do in the world of education!

Sally Phillips and Jeannie DeLancey are certified school counselors with 49 years combined educational experience. Jeannie has two children and Sally has three. The responses presented don’t necessarily reflect the views of any certain school district. Send questions to or mail them to Class Act, The Norman