Baltimore County police are investigating the posting of nude images of high school students who reportedly attend Milford Mill Academy, though a police spokeswoman said no crime may have been committed because the students are adults.
The Instagram account contains pictures of a male student and a female student who are both at least 18, according to spokeswoman Elise Armacost
"They're not juveniles," Armacost said. "That makes a big difference when you're talking about a police investigation, because there's not child pornography" if subjects are 18 or older.
Police looked into the matter after the resource officer at the school received an anonymous call from someone who said the account appeared to be connected to Milford Mill students.
Police found other nude images, but the people in those photos are not identifiable, Armacost said. She said no one has alleged that photos were posted against their will and "it's unclear at this point whether a crime has been committed."
Principal Roderick Harden sent an automated phone message to Milford Mill parents last week to tell them about the postings and urge them to talk to their children about using social media responsibly, said Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman Mychael Dickerson.
"It was clear that there was enough buzz in the school that our students were likely involved and that we needed to take responsible action and tell them that it was inappropriate, but also to alert parents of what was going on," Dickerson said.
Dickerson said school officials plan to increase an emphasis on Internet safety as the school system moves forward with a $205 million plan, approved last month, to supply every student and teacher with a laptop over the next seven years.
"Several of our schools talk about [social media use] in the context of responsible behavior in general," he said. "Because we're looking at a technology initiative, we will be doing more and more of that as a school system, but we can't do that without parents."
Armacost said the situation highlights the need to educate young people about the proper use of social media.
"This is certainly not the first time that we've become aware of complaints and concerns at school about kids sending inappropriate photos of themselves," Armacost said. "Clearly, young people need more guidance and education about the ramifications of posting inappropriate pictures on social media outlets."
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