The National Children's Advocacy Center in Huntsville wants parents to be aware now more than ever about protecting your kids from sexting. The cause for concern has grown after a criminal case surrounding child pornography involves North Alabama teens, with pictures shared across the country.
The center wants to emphasize two key points, the dangers of hitting the send button, and how parents can talk to their kids. Pam Clasgens is the Community Awareness and Prevention Director for the National Children's Advocacy Center and wants children to stop and think before sending something.
"Once they send that picture, they have no control over it, they don't know who is going to see it, they don't know who somebody might share it with," Clasgens said.
She also wants parents to become more aware of what their child is doing behind the screen. On Thursday, a third man was arrested for dissemination of child pornography in North Alabama, where police are investigating an internet server containing sexual images of girls as young as 14.
"It's really important for parents to have a conversation about this with any child that has a cellphone," Clasgens said.
Kelly Bronson is a parent of two, and has some growing concerns.
"With a daughter and a son, just thinking about, that could have been my kids," Bronson said.
As she never wants anything like this to happen to her children, Bronson plans to stay aware of what her kids are doing.
"I want them to learn that it's not okay to do things like that, it's not safe, not to trust everybody, not everybody's your friend," Bronson said.
Clasgens wants to make sure her message to parents and children is clear.
"Ask them if they got a photo like that, would they share that with somebody else? And talk about the consequences of that for the person."
The National Children's Advocacy Center wants parents to know if their child has a picture publicized, it is important to report it to the school and local law enforcement immediately.