Sheriff: Child pornography recorded in local school under investigation

STAFF REPORT :::

The Spalding County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident of alleged child pornography that officials say was recorded by a student during school hours, and is now being circulated among students.

According to a press release issued by Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix, his agency, in cooperation with the Griffin-Spalding County School System, became aware of this incident earlier Friday evening.

The pornographic video is of a 15-year-old student who Dix said is considered a victim due to circumstances uncovered during the investigation.

The video has been and continues to be shared, officials say.

Investigators have been conducting interviews and the victim’s parents have been made aware of the video’s existence.

“At this point our priority is protecting the victim and stopping the spread of this video. What happened is a crime. It is unlawful to record, posses, or distribute child pornography, and the student who made the video has been charged accordingly. Students who shared or possessed the video can also be charged,” Dix said. “These incidents can destroy young people’s lives and often drive some to harm themselves or commit suicide. What we are asking all parents to do is to get your student’s cellphone and check it. We are not asking you to turn your child in. Inspect the phone, search it, and if you find this video or any other pornographic content, delete it. Delete it from the cloud and empty the trash. We realize that the video may still be on the phone, we, just as you, know that it is never completely gone. Our first goal is to stop this video from spreading further. Speak to your child about this incident, even if you find nothing. Let them know the severity of this crime and the damage it can do to them and others. We will continue back tracking the shares of this video. Anyone we find in possession, or to have shared this video will face criminal prosecution.”

Dix also addressed those who may disagree with criminal charges being brought against those involved in this incident.

“Some may say, “Prosecution is too much-they’re just kids.” (sic) First of all, I think you would feel differently if it was your minor child being shared in a pornographic video on social media. If your “kid” is old enough to have a cellphone, and knowingly record or share pornographic material, they know what it is, and they are old enough to be held responsible for these heinous actions. After all, they didn’t record this kid just walking down a hall and share it did they? They knew what they were doing,” he said. “Parents, you need to understand, your child has no privacy right in their cellphone, it is provided to them. You can take it and search it. They have no say so in it. This should be done often and thoroughly to protect them and others. If they don’t like it, be a parent, not a friend. Take the phone and give it back to them when you are ready. If they don’t like it, they can hire an attorney and sue you. Tell them good luck. This is about as serious as it gets. The mental, emotional and physical damage that these incidents cause cannot be measured or erased. We will continue to work closely with school officials as this investigation continues.”

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Comments

  1. chrishgregory@hushmail.com says:

    Cell phones should be banned in school for a variety of reasons, including this one. Leave it in a locker or something.

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