CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4)– Parents got a lesson in what their children may be doing on their cell phones, iPads and laptops.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office believes the problem of children sharing sexually explicit pictures of themselves or others is getting worse. They want to educate parents on what the consequences are and how to keep track of what their children are doing.
The first in a series of three classes was Tuesday evening in Castle Rock. Deputies hope to keep the problem from growing.
Sexting is a term used when minors share sexually explicit images on their phones. The main message in the class: know what your kids are doing.
“Sexting is a big issue. It’s going on in our middle schools, it’s going on in our high schools and we want to get the word out,” said Douglas County Sheriff Deputy Ann Walton who taught the class.
“I think it’s important to not just have an open dialogue with your kids but kind of get in their business, get in their phones,” said parent Julie Schramm. “Know who they’re talking to and know what they’re saying.”
Not only did parents learn the risks of sexting but the consequences, including child predators and the charges their own children could face.
“If anyone has pictures of someone under the age of 18 and that person is nude or partially nude they can be charged with child pornography which is a felony,” said Walton. “With that they can also be put on the sexual offender list.”
“It is scary, it’s definitely scary,” said parent David Hickey.
He and his wife, Christine, said they knew about the issue but not how to stop it in the growing world of technology.
“The more that they know that we’re aware, hopefully the more protected they feel and know that we’ll continue to monitor it,” said Christine Hickey.
Deputies are also conducting similar classes in high schools and middle schools but they are seeing cases with kids even younger and are considering classes in an elementary schools.