Two students at an elementary school in Louisiana were arrested on Wednesday for distributing child pornography. According to the Slidell Police Department, the female student sent nude photos of herself to the male student, who then sent the photos of her to “numerous other students at the school” through Snapchat.
According to police, the students were caught when administrators at the school, Bonne Ecole Elementary, learned the boy had nude photos of the girl and contacted authorities. Investigators reportedly said that the girl had sent nude photos of herself to the boy on Snapchat. The boy then allegedly screenshotted the photos of her and sent them to other students. The students were released to their parents after their arrest.
“Most kids are not aware, but sending a nude photo of themselves is a crime,” Slidell Police Chief Randy Fandal said in a statement. “Parents need to have a candid conversation with their kids about the seriousness, and the long term effects, of taking and sending nude photographs.” Fandal said that minors sending and sharing nude photos of themselves is “pretty frequent.”
While possessing and sharing nude photos of a minor is illegal, it’s difficult to rationalize why an elementary school student should be charged with being a child pornographer for taking photos of herself. What’s more, it’s unclear whether she consented to her photos being shared among others, making her a possible victim of revenge porn. The student’s ages have not been released, but Bonne Ecole Elementary serves children from pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
“We’re asking the parents, please, stay aware of what your kids are doing with social media,” Fandal told local Fox affiliate WVUE-TV. “Look at their smartphones, see what applications they have on their smartphones and be aware of what your child is doing. Please.”
We have reached out to the Slidell Police Department for comment.