Students in one New Jersey school district had until Thursday to strip any nude selfies from their cellphones — or risk the chance to attend prom or graduation ceremonies.
The edict came down in a letter from the superintendent of the Bridgewater-Raritan schools and sent to parents earlier this week, reported the Courier News.
Cheryl Dyer, interim superintendent of schools, told parents she received reports of students sharing naked pictures of themselves on their phones and on social media — prompting her to contact police. The letters were sent to parents of both middle and high school students.
“Parents, administrators, and counselors are all working diligently trying to take corrective action and educate students about the ramifications of this behavior,” Dyer wrote in the letter, obtained by TheAlternativePress.com. “Local law enforcement is involved because the photos represent child pornography.”
Beginning Thursday, Dyer added, any students caught with nude photos would be subject to disciplinary action, including a five-day suspension, and could also be barred from end-of-year trips, prom and graduation ceremonies.
Bridgewater police told NJ.com that there’s no way to know exactly how many students have racy pics on their phones, but that selfies were taken willingly and sent to significant others.
“There is no evidence to support that any money was ever exchanged in an attempt to acquire the selfies, which showed girls in various states of undress,” said Bridgewater Lt. Tim Hoey.
The Bridgewater-Raritan school district’s stern warning comes after a neighboring school district covering Bernards Township sent out a similar letter this month. Police had confiscated 8 to 10 students’ phones with nude selfies, and said those images were sold for $4.