Photo of topless teen circulates school for money

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - A topless picture of a local teen was passed around for money at Ashley Ridge High School in Summerville, according to Dorchester County District 2 officials.

"The things that you do and you believe to be private can suddenly become public in a very negative way," said Mike Turner, security coordinator for DD2, in response to the incident.

Turner has seen many phone incidents in school come across his desk over the years.

"Technology has allowed information to be transmitted that 15 to 20 years ago was not possible," he said.

The battle is against technology and how fast it's evolving. Turner is trying to get in front of the curve to stop students from using smart phones during school.

The alleged report from Ashley Ridge High School is the most recent incident involving "sexting" to cross his desk. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit text messages or photographs from cell phones.

According to DD2 officials, the report detailed a picture of a topless student being sold for two dollars from another student's cell phone. Phones are allowed in schools in Dorchester County but are supposed to be kept in book bags or in lockers.

"It can live on the Internet for a long, long time," said Turner. "It can affect not only their education, but jobs in the future."

Turner says no matter if the event happened on of off school property, sexting is something parents should talk to their children about before a text is sent.

"There are some issues parents really need to discuss with their students," said Turner. "They need to take a long hard look at their future before that momentary lapse in judgment."

Live 5 News asked parents on Facebook if they've ever caught their children sexting and what they've done to curb the issue.

Jessica said, "I will stalk my children and invade their privacy until they are old enough to get a job and live under their own rules."

Anthony responded by saying, "have you forgotten what it's like to be full of hormones? It's as natural as gray hair in old age."

Depending on the image, DD2 rules outline students can face punishments from suspension to being thrown out of school. Right now, the incident is being dealt with by Ashley Ridge High School. A board hearing will decide what action is taken against those students who passed around the photo.

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