Updated 6:15 a.m., Dec. 7:
Greenwich Public School officials plan to meet next month with special presentations on Internet safety for both parents and students of Western Middle School.
Officials announced the plans late Tuesday, now that Greenwich Police have concluded an investigation of a sexting incident in late October. No arrests were made in the case which involved three Western Middle School students who apparently created nude photos that were e-mailed via personal computers and cell phones to an unknown number of students. School spokeswoman Kim Eves said the district does "not provide information on the disciplinary action taken with students."
According to Eves, "The January WMS PTA meeting will address internet safety with parents, similar to one conducted just last year with parents.
WMS is scheduling an assembly for 6-8 grade students on internet safety with the Greenwich Police Department for some time in January."
Immediately after the photos were discovered by school administrators, staff met with eighth-grade classes to discuss Internet use and safety and informed parents about it in a letter.
Interim School Superintendent Roger Lulow also issued a statement late Tuesday. "We have a curriculum in place to try to address these types of behaviors because it is important for kids to know. We are obviously disappointed that while students are demonstrating appropriate use of technology in school, they are not carrying that practice over to after school hours," Lulow said. "We strongly encourage families to reinforce these practices at home. We commend the Western staff in uncovering and addressing this recent issue despite the fact that it occurred outside of school.”
Greenwich Police have completed their investigation of the sexting of explicit photos involving Western Middle School students.
According to police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray, "the case has been cleared non-judicially. No arrests were made. The parents, the school and the Special Victims Section all were involved and came up with the best solution to these circumstances. Sometimes the best route is not to make an arrest with juveniles."
Gray added, "They were explained the ramifications (of sexting) and the potential for criminal charges to be lodge. We used the situation more as a life lesson. ... Not all crimes need to be prosecuted when it comes to juvenile matters. This gives them an opportunity to grow and learn."
Gray said that police removed the explicit images "from the computers and cell phones of local kids. They (the photos) were all locally produced and they were tagged and categorized and copies were sent to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. If anyone is now found to be in possession of these photos, they can be charged with child pornography."
The investigation began in late October when there were were being e-mailed among eighth-grade students.
It is not known what, if any disciplinary action was taken by school officials. A request for comment was left at school headquarters.
According to Connecticut statutes, sexting is defined as a person "who is thirteen years of age or older but under eighteen years of age (who) may knowingly possess any visual depiction of child pornography that the subject of such visual depiction knowingly and voluntarily transmitted by means of an electronic communication device to such person and in which the subject of such visual depiction is a person thirteen years of age or older but under eighteen years of age."