In the age of sexting, parents respecting their kids’ privacy can only go so far, according to a police officer who educates parents and youths about activity on cell phones and the internet. Madison Police Sgt June Groehler says “our kids don’t have the media and digital literacy we assume they do.” She says young people who send nude pictures of themselves don’t realize potential consequences including legal troubles or damage to reputation.

Groehler compares teaching kids about potential dangers in technology, with teaching them to use a seat belt and look both ways before they cross the street.

Parents have a responsibility to talk to their kids about the issue and possibly monitor their communication. “It’s not spying on your children; it’s called parenting,” says Groehler.

Meanwhile Franklin police are investigating a case of a 14-year-old girl’s exchanging naked photos of herself via text. The probe started when the girl’s father found a nude picture of a 15-year-old boy on her cell phone. Last month, another Milwaukee-area student was sentenced to a year in juvenile corrections after convincing girls to send him naked photos.

Brian Moon reports (:61)


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