Several girls were asked to send nude photos to classmates at their junior high schools over the last several months, Bothell police said.
Detectives are investigating reports of Bothell junior high school students allegedly sending and receiving sexually explicit photos on their cell phones throughout the last several months, police said.
The Northshore School District notified police Friday about a possible “sexting” situation involving numerous students in two Bothell junior high schools, according to the Bothell Police Department. The girls and boys are students at Canyon Park and Skyview junior high schools, district spokeswoman Leanna Albrecht said.
The initial investigation suggests that several boys encouraged girls to send nude photos of themselves to the boys’ cell phones, the police department said. In some instances, girls were pressured to send images or received threats that their photos would be shared if they didn’t share more, the Northshore School District wrote in a letter to parents on Monday.
“Living in the digital age has its benefits and challenges,” Assistant Superintendent Heather Miller wrote in the letter to parents. “Students now have technology at their fingertips through smartphones, social media and apps such as Snapchat, Vine, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. As students become more connected through technology, they have instant access to friends, but can become more vulnerable to such things as online bullying or sexting.”
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Detectives have confiscated at least 11 cell phones and are conducting more interviews, the police department said.
It is illegal in Washington to disseminate, possess and view sexually explicit images of minors, according to the Washington State Legislature.