Parents can help keep teens away from cellphone porn

WASHINGTON — Fairfax County police have not yet filed charges in the case of two McLean High School students accused of posting more than 50 nude photos of girls online. But this is not an isolated case and the problem is not going away.

There are ways parents can fight back, though.

One way is to take cellphones away from students before they go to bed and put the phone in the parents’ room to charge overnight, says Clarence Jones, the student safety and wellness coordinator for Fairfax County Public Schools.

“A lot of the kids are using the cellphones to take pictures of themselves sometime between 11 at night and 4 in the morning. And most parents are asleep during that period of time, and the kids know that,” Jones says.

Jones says parents seem to forget that they bought the phone for the kids. He say parents need to be parents by taking responsibility and monitoring their kids’ online and cellphone use.

“Sit down with their kids at least two or three times a month, if at all possible, and see what’s on their phone,” he says.

He recommends checking out what apps they have on there, as well as the Google history, to see what websites their teens are going on.

Jones says parents as well as kids need to be educated about what he calls basically “child porn.”

“A lot of parents say ‘Oh my God, I never knew this,’ until they get a knock on the door by the police [saying] that your son or daughter has been doing this.”

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