Solon School Sexting-Tale or Truth

Kaitlyn Ridel and Laura Johnston of Northeast Ohio Media Group had a few news reports about allegations that students of Solon Schools were sexting.

Whats news?  News is the communication of selected information on events.  It is debatable that news is different from truth.  What’s sexting?  Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages and/or photographs, primarily between mobile phones.

According to Kaitlyn Ridel, students and parents reached out to NEOMG.  She states,

Northeast Ohio Media Group (NEOMG) received detailed accounts from students about the photos, which they said began spreading last fall. They said boys kept photos in an electronic file called the “vault” and traded images of girls like baseball cards.

Another basis for NEOMG report is several images from publicly visible twitter accounts.  Now, of much relevance is the definition of a tweet.  A tweet is a short phrase, not more than 140 characters long and therefore is probably not subject to copyright laws.  Some of these twitter accounts may belong to students of Solon and other schools.  These twitter images refer to sexting at Solon school, disciplinary action taken by Solon School District, investigation and denial by school officials.

Solon School Sexting Tweet

Solon School Sexting Tweet

Solon School Sexting Tweet

Solon School Sexting Tweet

School officials are not stating that the nude photographs do not exist or exist.  Some of these twitter accounts went private after the report by Plain Dealer, NEOMG staff.  Laura Johnston of NEOMG reports that Erin Short, Principal, Solon High School stated the following in a message:

With news reports making claims about alleged occurrences at Solon High School, I want to emphasize that although the administrative team has heard rumors this week regarding inappropriate photos on social media or cell phones, this information was investigated and we have been presented with no evidence to substantiate these rumors.

Additionally, no disciplinary actions have been issued at Solon High School this week regarding inappropriate photos on social media or cell phones and there has been no police involvement of any kind. The school would certainly not hesitate to issue consequences if evidence is ever presented that warrants school discipline or referral to the Solon Police Department.  Please use this communication as another reminder to have a serious conversation with your child about the potential dangers of misusing their phone technology and social media. In addition, if you ever have any concerns about student safety related to cell phone use and social media, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.  We will continue to work with our PTA, guidance staff and student facilitator to address the complicated issue of social media use among students.”

Prosecutors have broad discretion to decide how to charge young people with sexting, or whether to prosecute them at all.  They might pursue felony convictions, which label the young person as a sex offender and carry mandatory registration requirements.  Or they may charge a young person with misdemeanors without registration requirements, or impose hours of community service, or they may decide not to pursue charges at all.  In a case such as this, the last option is most likely.

Currently in Ohio, sexting may result in two potential felony charges. The first is a violation of Ohio Revised Code section 2907.322, “Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor,”.  The other is a violation of Ohio Revised Code section 2907.323, “Illegal Use of Minor in Nudity Oriented Material or Performance.”

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