• Police investigating sexting issue at Walpole High School


    WALPOLE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Walpole police are investigating a sexting case involving at least 10 Walpole High School students.

    Deputy Chief John Carmichael told FOX 25 that phones have been confiscated and search warrants have been obtained to check those phones to see how widespread the sexting is.

    After police contacted the school, 10 students between the ages of 14 and 18 were called into the office for questioning.

    "Officers and detectives responded up to the school yesterday and today, spoke to some of the kids that apparently are involved they were all very forthright, very honest with the police and with the administration at the school as to their involvement so far," Carmichael said.

    Carmichael said they don't know when the pictures were taken or sent, or how many there are. So they're using the student's cell phones to gather evidence.

    "We seized several phones that we're going to execute search warrants on and that's basically where we stand at this point," he said.

    In Massachusetts, sexting falls under the category of child pornography and is a felony. Carmichael said that they do not want to seek punitive damages against these students, but action needs to be taken to bring awareness to this widespread issue. Parents need to have a conversation about sexting and the potential consequences with their kids and check their phones frequently.

    Carmichael says the laws haven't caught up with the technology yet and unfortunately sexting is very common with teenagers. He says a felony conviction is a pretty harsh penalty for a teenager to face and it's something the Legislature needs to look into.

    "Our goal isn't to try and punish an adolescent for making a mistake in this type of situation our goal and I know the administration of the school's goal is to teach and to educate them and let them be aware of how bad this can be," he said.

    Superintendent Lincoln D. Lynch, III released a statement Wednesday that read in part: "I want to assure the entire Walpole Public Schools' community that this matter is being dealt with appropriately and with the best interests of our students in mind. Due to student confidentiality laws and regulations, there will be no further comment at this time."

    No charges have been filed, but several students have been suspended.

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