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Sexting gets 2 Flat Rock Middle students arrested

Two Flat Rock Middle School students on Nov. 18 were charged in an incident involving sexting.

Sheriff Barry Babb said the sexting incident involved a 14-year-old female student who took a cell phone photograph of herself while naked and sent it to a 13-year-old male student. The male student then showed the photo to another student, Babb said.

The 14-year-old female became upset when she learned that the photo had been seen by others and with one person referring to her as a “hoe,” said Babb.

School officials became aware of the situation and the sheriff’s office was contacted, Babb said.

The female was charged with exhibiting sexually-explicit material to a minor, said Babb.

The male was charged with transmitting electronic porn and child exploitation, Babb said.

Comments

Let's label them sex offenders for the rest of their lives instead. And then we can warn our kids to stay away from their house on Halloween.

Busy Bee's picture

First of all, this was incredibly stupid of the two students. And the incident and its consequences should be shared with all middle and high school students as a warning and a teachable moment.

But really, charging them both with child pornography? Really? Does that consequence really fit what happened? This is not the same thing as some child predator who creates and distributes child porn. This is basically the old "I'll show you mine if you show me yours". It is a crime that these two are facing some very adult criminal charges over essentially adolescent stupidity. The sheriff's department should go out and arrest some real predators and let the parents and school handle this as the discipline problem that it is. Good grief!

NUK_1's picture

I hate the laws on issues like this because it mixes consensual stuff going on between two naive and young teens with the real trash out there like pedophiles and rapists. This is an entirely different matter here than some sex offender freaks that society needs to be protected from. These are two teens that made a couple of bad decisions....."transmitting child pornography?" Ugh.

So now you make these two be on sex offender lists forever and restrict where they can live on THIS? You're dooming a 14 and a 13 year old when common sense says you don't. You make them go to court, embarrass them some,and give them the kind of lecture from hell they have to hear, but child porno charges? Let's hope for some DA discretion here.

No disrespect to the FCSO here as they have to enforce the law as it written, but let's Git Real here: this is way, way overblown.

There are way to many laws here. Teachers and school Administrators are forced to contact authorities when something like this occurs or risk losing their careers. The sheriff can't pick and choose what laws he will enforce either. Hopefully the DA will scare the heck out of the kids, then give them community service so that this doesn't follow them the rest of their lives. We're talking about two young kids doing a stupid thing without examining the ramifications. We've all been there.

We didn't have cell phones or digital cameras when I went to school. We did our mischief other ways. But if and when a school principal heard about it (and they all do), ours would summon all 4 parents to school for a come to Jesus meeting. That always took care of the problem, and swiftly. Whatever punishment the school dealt, was much nicer than when we got home, lol.

Hopefully, the DA will scare them, but not leave them with a scar for life.

Seriously, I don't see an arrest being warranted here.

Law Enforcement is out of control on this matter.

Concerned Citizen's picture

I hope this is a wakeup to other students. The charges aren't as serious as you people make them to be. Children cannot be sex offenders and children never get more than a slap on the wrist. They'll probably have to write an essay, clean up a parking lot or promise to never do it again. Kudos to the school, don't tolerate this crap and make an example of poor decision making.

Citizen_Steve's picture

It was reported on the news today that both kids are charged with felonies. I think I made a huge mistake voting for Babb.

Steve

Since you and I were in school.

I remember in Jr. High when a friend acted inappropriately to a female classmate, while trying to be a big shot. A teacher overheard the not so silent secret and reported it to the vice principle who pulled the lad out of class. By the end of the day, both sets of parents were seen leaving the office with their kids and my friend was punished pretty hard. This impacted how he spoke and behaved with the girls from that point on. Whatever was said and done to the student was effective.

In today's society, that principle could have been fired or lost his teaching credentials for not reporting this. The same with the sheriff.

Yes, the response to the actions of these kids could have been handled differently, but we don't know all the circumstances, and the article didn't go deeper than reporting the incident. In my humble opinion, the adults were just as scared as the students and reported this to higher authorities as a precaution not to be suid in the future.

It's a shame that we live in this type of society.

Now their parents have some interesting news to include in the annual Christmas letter as well as an opportunity for spicy discussion around the holiday tables.

Now their parents have some interesting news to include in the annual Christmas letter as well as an opportunity for spicy discussion around the holiday tables.

PTC Observer's picture

There was a time when this sort of thing was handled by parents and not the state. This is raging stupidity, the question is who's to blame for it. When you begin with the notion that you can capture everything with a law, punishment becomes the prerogative of the state and not the citizen. Parents are excluded from the process.

It's sort of like putting "standards" on health care, the state will decide what is "right" for you and make you pay for it no matter the cost.

Judges have no right to take the place of the parents in this case.

I had a long rant written here, but realized I'm dealing with the Citizen and its readers.

Forget it.

The immaturity is bewildering, and I'm not talking about the teenagers involved. I'm talking about a sheriff's department that would pursue and arrest these teens (instead of letting the parents handle it) and a hick-town newspaper that would report it (along with every other arrest--not conviction--arrest).

Thank God this area will outgrow the weak mentalities that have run things for so long.

From now on I'm kicking this rag of a newspaper to the street. I don't want it polluting my driveway.

GPMike,

I agree with you in that the sheriff's dept way over reacted. However my agreement with you stops there. This article presented information that parents need to know. Their kids could be thinking the same and doing the same and need to be talked to about it. This article brought some things to light. We no longer live in a "leave it to beaver world". What is a "hick town"? I do not believe the PTC is a hick town. I also do not think you should put down anyone who reads the paper as "realized I'm dealing with" Good pal lose the anger or it will consume you. Oh no names were mentioned only information distributed.

Just vote. Citizens have given their lives for that right. Stop spending money we do not have. myself

brewster's picture

Why the laws has to get involved with lasciviousness being manifest in kindergarten, I mean sex in the elementary bathroom, or was it lewd photographs, no, teen-age adulterous affairs with teachers, uh what? Wait - where is the line drawn again?

highflyer2's picture

This is on the borderline of being scary . Have we passed the point of common sense?
These kids should of been taken home and and had a very serious talk to!
But then again if you don't arrest them now they just might grow up and tell a pretty girl that they are pretty!
And we all know how that ended don't we Barry and Bob?

Reading some of the comment I don’t think the sheriff's dept reacted because we need to start showing this kids if they do stupid stuff like this then their need to hold responsible for their action. Just like a kid at Bennett Mill get arrest today. When an enough is enough we got to hold this kids and their parent responsible for their action. Just talking to this teen is not an enough. And I personally don’t care if someone disagrees with my comment because if we let these kids do what the hell they want too then we fails these kids.

have not thought this through to the end. Both of these teens were foolish and did a stupid thing. But, put it in perspective--they only hurt themselves. No one was raped, no one was shot, no one was robbed, no one's property was destroyed. I have no pity whatsoever for a pervert, or child molester of any sort but I think when someone 14 or 15 sends nude pics of themselves to someone their age or a year or so older or younger it is more than asinine to brand them a child molester. A nineteen or 20 year old sending such pics to a 13 or 14 year old-yes- but to brand a teen-ager for life for a stupid mistake is going way too far. I doubt there are few people out there who did not do foolish things when they were young. Thankfully, we did not have the social media that today's young people have to tempt them. You read of case after case like this but like all teen-agers they think they wil not get caught or do not think they are doing anything wrong. There are too many other ways to handle this than to mark this teen for life.
Just my perspective looking at the situation as an old mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who is still young enough to remember how foolish young people can be.

NUK_1's picture

Whatever you just typed sounds worse than ebonics or what Don Haddix's letters used to look like in the newspaper.

I guess I was trying to sound like your mother you social inequality jerk!!!!

Please, goodrain, do not post until you can master third grade grammer. Your opinions, while sincere, are lost in your composition.

PTC Observer's picture

government schools it appears.

Perhaps if goodrain had an undergraduate degree from Columbia and a law degree from Harvard and used perfect English, his ideas might be credited with some merit. Or perhaps not.

meanoldconservatives's picture

Perhaps ideas should be able to stand on their own merit. Or perhaps not.

PTC Observer's picture

Rich and the President STF, not ideas.

This foolish girl has already been punished by the logical consequence of a thoughtless action. Deputy Barney Fife's involvement merely underscores how bereft our local law enforcement is of judgement. Perhaps District Attorney Scott Ballard's staff will demonstrate some maturity. Obviously, it has escaped all the other players.

In past times, this would have been handled quietly with the kids parents. But in today litigious society, its mandated to report everything. Don't blame the schools or the police, their hands are tied. Hopefully Mr. Ballard will handle this correctly so as not to have this on these kids records.

In Georgia law, it designates certain professionals as mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect [OCGA 19-7-5(c)(1)].

If you are one of the following people and have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused, you must make a report, immediately but no later than 24 hours, to your local DFCS office or law enforcement and are subject to criminal penalty for failing to do so.
•Physicians licensed to practice medicines, interns or residents
•Hospital or medical personnel
•Dentists
•Licensed psychologists
•Podiatrists
•Registered professional nurses or licensed practical nurses
•Professional counselors, social workers, or marriage and family therapists
•School teachers
•School administrators
•School guidance counselors, visiting teachers, school social workers, school psychologists
•Child welfare agency personnel
•Child counseling personnel
•Child service organization personnel
•Law enforcement personnel

Mandated Reporter Training is available through The Governor's Office for Children and Families (GOCF). GOCF has partnered with Care Solutions, Inc. to make this valuable online training available for free any time or day that you may want to use it. It is one-hour of your time to learn how to better recognize the indicators of abuse and neglect, understand your role in responsible reporting, and identify the groups of children that may be at a higher risk of being abused or neglected. Please click here to register: Mandated Reporters: Critical Links in Protecting Children in Georgia

Actually, mandated reporters must call the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS) when they suspect child abuse (sexual or otherwise). If law enforcement is initially contacted, they refer the case to DFCS except in critical incidents when clear abuse is evident. DFCS has broad latitude to investigate the charges and take any actions deemed necessary, including calling the police. Of course, we have only limited knowledge of this incident at Flat Rock Middle School. However, the news report sounds like the police became involved immediately without DFCS screening and adding some reasonable deliberation to the circumstances. Thus, my reference to Barney Fife.

Now, we can only hope that Mr. Ballard's office will be clear-headed enough to ignore criminal charges for early teenage foolishness.

Something like this (almost exactly) happened at another middle school about 4 years ago. No police were involved and school officials were aware (it all came to a head at school). I wonder what has changed? I feel bad for these kids that were arrested. I think the embarrassment is punish enough.

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