Nearly 50 students at a Georgia high school are facing disciplinary action for allegedly circulating nude photos of their classmates over their phones, according to a new report.
At least 46 of the 850 students at Union County High School in Blairsville — nearly 6 percent of the school’s population — were caught up in the scandal, local station WSB-TV 2 reported. A parent tipped off the school principal to the disturbing exchange a few weeks ago, according to the station.
The Union County School District could have filed felony porn charges in connection with the lewd photo sharing, but decided against it, superintendent John Hill told the station.
“In Georgia, if you’re under the age of 18, that’s actually manufacturing and distribution of child pornography,” Hill said.
Students at Union County High range from 14 to 18 years old.
Instead, the district has imposed various disciplinary measures — ranging from short-term suspension to alternative school — depending on the severity of each student’s alleged involvement, according to the report.
The district is also working to make sure both students and parents are aware of the dangers of sexting, Hill told the outlet.
“We feel like it’s important to educate the children and educate the parents about the seriousness of the crime,” he said. “Once it’s out there, you can’t control it. You can’t get it back.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the district attorney visited both the high school and the local middle school Wednesday to make presentations about sexting — including the alarming possibility that the photos could end up in the wrong hands, according to the report.
In this case, there’s no indication that the nude photos have reached any child predators.
The Union County Schools Police Department is investigating.