Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons' statement on sexting, issued via the GC Sheriff Department's Facebook page:
Grayson County Sheriff Rick Clemons and the Grayson County Sheriff's Department would like to make parents aware of a growing problem that they are seeing more of in Grayson County.
Sexting has become a big problem nationwide with young people sending nude photos to each other and not considering the social and legal consequences. Don't think for one minute that because we live in a small rural community that sexting doesn't happen here. On the contrary, it's happening at the high school and even middle school level.
As parents, it is our responsibility to know what our kids are doing on their phones and social media. You pay the bill and you have every right and SHOULD BE monitoring what your kids are sending, receiving and talking about with their peers. Kids don't realize that anything that is sent through social media can be intercepted, used and reposted anywhere even if the sender and receiver both delete the image.
There is also the issue of criminal charges being brought against those engaging in sexting and child pornography. What kids see as socially acceptable, fun and "nobody will know but me and my boyfriend/girlfriend," can turn into something that may follow them for the rest of their lives. Sexting can lead to embarrassment, emotional distress and shame for teens, not to mention the criminal ramifications and possible jail time.
Sexting is a very serious and growing issue, even here in our county. While your teen may not give you the "Parent of the Year" award for getting into their business, in the long run you may be saving them from an embarrassing, heartbreaking and even criminal situation.
Have a discussion with your teen about the seriousness of sexting. Encourage them to come to you if they receive nude images on their phone or computer. One of the most important messages to get across is that once you post a photo online, you can't take it back. Once you hit send, it's out there for anyone to see it, even people that you would never suspect or intend to see it.
If you find something that is inappropriate on your child's phone, please contact law enforcement.