Fifteen-year-olds AJ Fenton and Kiran Phelan say they were suspended from school for opening a sex video on their smartphones, sent to them on a group text message.
“When I got the video, I didn’t know what it was,” said AJ.
In all, about 20 Long Island students were suspended for up to five days for forwarding the video or simply receiving it. Two of the students were arrested and charged with felonies for distributing child pornography.
Parents Andrew Fenton and Thomas Phelan are fighting to overturn the suspensions of their sons.
“Nobody knows what’s coming to their phones. If he’s 18, colleges are going to say ‘Were you ever suspended from school?’ He’s going to have to say yes,” said Fenton.
“The next question is why. And according to what the administration was telling me on Friday, child porn was on his phone.”
This month officials in Colorado reported at least 100 students at Canon City High School used a secret app to exchange nude photos on their smartphones. Police in Ohio are currently investigating a sexting case involving 14 children ranging from 11 to 17.
Computer expert and CNET editor Dan Ackerman says with modern technology, there is no way to guarantee your child’s safety.
“The one thing we’ve discovered over the years is anything that you put out there on the Internet, whether it’s something you are posting publicly or you are sending privately, exists in digital form somewhere. It can never truly be deleted.” said Ackerman.