(NEW YORK) — Two teenage boys in New York have been arrested for allegedly filming and distributing a sexually explicit video and an unknown number of their classmates have been suspended after reportedly receiving or forwarding the video.
The incident in Long Island is the latest such alleged sexting scandal, as schools in Colorado and elsewhere have dealt with sexting incidents in recent weeks.
In the latest incident, the Suffolk County Police reported that two 14-year-old boys have been arrested after one of them allegedly engaged in a sex act with a female in late-October and the other allegedly filmed it. Police say the video was “later distributed electronically,” according to a news release.
None of the names of the individuals involved has been released because of their ages and the nature of the alleged crimes, but a spokesperson for the Smithtown Central School District has confirmed to ABC News that both are students in one of the district’s two high schools.
Each of the boys has been charged with disseminating indecent material to minors and promoting a sexual performance by a child, both of which are Class-D felonies, and third-degree sexual abuse, which is a misdemeanor.
Though they are the only individuals so far facing criminal charges, the police said others could face charges if the video is disseminated further.
ABC station WABC-TV reports that an unspecified number of students in Smithtown’s Kings Park school district were suspended for the week after they allegedly received or sent the video to others and Superintendent Timothy Eagen said that the district is cooperating with the ongoing police investigation.
Twenty parents were called to the school Friday to meet with the principal about their children’s suspensions, according to the station.
Superintendent Eagen also sent out a letter Friday urging parents to speak to their children about appropriate social media and smartphone use.
Though he did not reveal any details about this specific case, citing confidentiality reasons, he did note that parents should know there are at least seven apps intended to hide photos on smartphones.
Some parents who were called in were reportedly upset that their children had been suspended for something that they had, as one parent put it, “no control over.”
Speaking to WABC, Andrew Fenton said his son had received the video and was subsequently suspended.
“It’s impossible to believe that your son could get in trouble because somebody forwarded a video to his phone that he has no control over receiving it,” Fenton told the station.
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