LITTLE EGG HARBOR – A student at Pinelands Junior High School is facing serious criminal charges after allegedly posting an explicit video of a 12-year-old girl on social media.
Superintendent of Schools Melissa McCooley confirmed Thursday night that the Little Egg Harbor Police Department charged the student after he allegedly posted and shared the video which featured a female classmate. It is unclear whether or not the victim was friends with the boy or in a relationship with him.
In a letter posted on the school districts’ Facebook page, McCooley urges all parents to talk to their kids since many other students opted to share the video across various social media platforms.
She wrote “please understand that the student depicted in the video is 12 years old, therefore, this is classified as child pornography. Those reposting a video such as this could be subject to criminal charges as well.”
The letter also said “it is evident that students need additional education regarding the ramifications of sending inappropriate messages/videos and social media.”
McCooley added that she would be reaching out to the Ocean County Prosecutors Office for assistance with this matter.
Jersey Shore Online has reached out to both the Little Egg Harbor Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
On the district social media page, many parents were quick to weigh in on the seriousness of the situation. Some were adamant in saying that kids shouldn’t have smartphones with access to cameras and the internet while others discussed how it’s unnecessary for anyone under the age of 18 to be on social media.
One parent wrote “Maybe it’s just me and I’m a little old school but I really don’t understand why it’s necessary for a child to have a cell phone in the first place. I get that we live in a different day and age but kids have access to the same content that we do no matter how much parental control you put on a phone.”
Another parent posted “After reading a lot of comments on this page it occurs to me that the reason this happened was because of the parents. Both his and hers. Her parents should have taught her enough self respect to not have even taken the photo or video at all and his parents should have taught him enough respect to not have shared it the way he did but instead tell his parents about it so it could be handled. It’s laughable that kids having phones is to blame. Cameras have been around forever. Most homes have digital cameras that can take the same photos. Try growing up and parent your kids.”