Sexually explicit photos and videos distributed at Pennfield High

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PENNFIELD CHARTER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Pennfield Schools is warning parents against transmitting sexually explicit videos and photos between students in hopes of limiting the extent of the damage.

The letter said the school administration discovered “two incidents involving the creation and distribution of inappropriate high school videos and images” that include nudity and students engaging in sexual acts. The photos and videos were then shared among students at the school on social media and “other electronic means”, the letter said.

On Friday, the district clarified that the acts occurred off campus, but the footage was distributed on campus.

“At the request of the district, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department (CSSD) is investigating the release on campus of a photo and video allegedly depicting conduct that occurred off campus. The District is in close contact with the CCSD and will fully cooperate with law enforcement. The district will continue to respect the need for confidentiality as required by federal and state law and will ensure that appropriate protocols under board policy are followed. No further statements will be released at this time.

Pennfield Schools

As the students involved are minors, the photos and videos are considered child pornography. Citing the Michigan Penal Code, the letter states that “the possession, distribution and creation of child pornography is a felony and a federal felony and may result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years in prison.”

The district says it is trying to notify parents so they are aware of what is going on. It asks parents in middle school, high school, or any student with access to social media to have a conversation with their kids about media. If their children are in possession of the photos or videos, parents are advised to have their children delete them permanently. If students have sent them to others, they should reach out and let recipients know the seriousness of their actions, the district recommended.

Pennfield Schools said they are working with local law enforcement, counselors, child protective services and other community agencies.

The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office sent out a statement Friday confirming it was investigating. Detectives learned that the students were “taking nude images of themselves outside of school and sharing those images with their peers at Pennfield High School using their personal electronic devices,” the statement said.

Detectives say they have found no evidence so far that the students are at risk from outside threats.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information to call Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office Detectives at 269.781.0880.

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