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Talk to kids about sexting, Burlington officials say


If your child has a cell phone, then it’s time for the "talk" — that is, the talk about the dangers of sexting. That was the message that the county prosecutor, a police lieutenant, and the Burlington, Vt., school board chairman sent to parents April 29 during a panel discussion at Burlington High School on the growing problem of sexting, a national trend in which teens exchange explicit photos and text messages via cell phones, reports the Burlington Free Press. Even if a 15-year-old consents to send nude photos of herself to her boyfriend via cell phone, it’s potentially a violation of child pornography laws for both, said Thomas J. Donovan, Chittenden County State’s Attorney. He urged parents to talk to their children about the legal and ethical aspects of sexting and help them understand that digital images taken and exchanged impulsively can have a lasting impact on their criminal record and prospects for college and employment. Donovan, a graduate of Burlington High, told the small group gathered in the school cafeteria that he made mistakes when he was "young and stupid" and was given many second chances. Things are different now, though, because teens who make their mistakes in digital photographs and internet postings could be haunted by them for a long time in cyberspace, he said…

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