MONROE, Connecticut (WCBS) — Troubling charges have been filed against three juveniles in suburban Connecticut.
Police said they used an Instagram account to shame and harass other young people, even posting nude photos, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported Thursday.
The posts were first reported to police in January, an unidentified account with “nude and inappropriate photos of Monroe youths… being used to shame ridicule and bully (students).”
The targeted teenagers attended Jockey Hollow Middle School.
Three young people now face charges, including possession of child pornography, risk of injury to a minor, and harassment.
Monroe police would not release the age or sex of any of the juveniles arrested. The local newspaper, The Monroe Sun, reported they are a mix of middle and high school students.
An estimated 75% of teenagers have at least one active social media account.
Dawn Tymon, a mother of a teenager, said the charges in this case are troubling.
“I don’t think they think of the consequences long term,” Tymon said.
“Definitely something that shouldn’t be posted out or even get out in general. Shouldn’t even be taking pictures in the first place at all,” Monroe resident Jacob Nemelgut added.
Instagram said it is constantly developing tools to keep the site safe for teenage users. Parents have an important role to play discussing ground rules and monitoring activity.
“To see when is that teen ready, and then even when they are on the platform, what is that experience going to be like and how can you set your teen up to have the most intentional, safe and positive experience while you’re there,” Instagram’s Carolyn Merrell said.
“You just post good things about people. No negativity. Be nice. Polite. Have respect,” Tymon said.
Local school officials were not available for comment. Police said all the issues raised by this troubling crime are being addressed with programs in the schools.
Police said there also was racially insensitive material posted on the Instagram account controlled by the three students. They were charged as juveniles and released to their parents.
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