BARRINGTON, Ill. (CBS) — Some students at a northwest suburban middle school could face criminal charges, after using their phones to share provocative photos of classmates, including some naked pictures.
Police said eighth graders at Barrington Middle School Station Campus used their cell phones to send each other sexually explicit images using smartphone apps like Snapchat and Kik Messenger.
Sources said at least one boy hasn’t been back to class since the “sexting” scandal first broke last week, but school officials would not confirm that.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports current students weren’t talking about the scandal on Tuesday, but former student Lauren Barrett said she isn’t surprised at least five 8th graders at the school have been implicated.
“It’s like our generation now and then these days,” said Barrett, who is now a junior in high school.
Barrington police have launched an investigation, and criminal charges could be filed.
Station Campus principal Craig Winkelman said all the affected students and their families are cooperating. He also says about “four or five” people are involved.
The sexting was uncovered when students informed teachers about it, and asked them to get involved.
“We discovered mid last week that we had a small group of students involved in ‘sexting,’ and … as soon as we learned of that information, we immediately started working with those students to understand exactly what occurred,” he said.
Parents were understandably alarmed.
“Whenever this happens, it reminds you as a parent to keep a close eye on the item, and keep a close eye on your own home, and hopefully the school’s doing the same thing,” Al Crook said.
Winkelman said the sexting incidents appear to have been relatively contained to a small group of students.
“From the information we have at this time, it was contained to just our students here at our middle school,” he said.
Barrett’s advice to parents was matter-of-fact.
“You should probably take away your kids’ phones,” she said.
Barrington police said they would release more information on the case Tuesday afternoon.