School officials and the Jacksonville Beach Police are investigating a situation at Fletcher Middle School that allegedly involves an explicit video that shows two students having sex.
Officials say the video was sent out to via AirDrop and text messaging apps, popping up on the cell phones of their peers at the school.
Principal Joe McKenzie called parents to inform them of the incident this week. "We've recently learned that someone shared an inappropriate, obscene video with students via text message and Airdrop," McKenzie said, in part.
"This is a very serious matter, and we are working with law enforcement on the investigation. We have already identified one individual allegedly involved, and police continue to investigate," he added.
Police Investigating Video Leak, Charges and Disciplinary Action Likely
The Jacksonville Beach Police Department is investigating the leak of the video but has not released any information about the individuals reportedly involved.
According to legal analyst Mark Baughman, sharing an explicit video involving sexual graphic acts is a crime, regardless of them being juveniles. In addition to possible charges, school discipline is also likely for those involved.
"(Police will) be working closely with the school. So it could be some school expulsion or some other disciplinary actions, maybe moving individuals from certain schools to another school," said Baughman.
"As police identify others responsible, I assure you that I will take appropriate disciplinary action at the school, and consequences may also include criminal charges," Principal McKenzie also noted in his statement.
Individuals Involved Could Also Face Child Pornography Charges
Action News Jax's Law & Safety Expert Dale Carson claims if underage teenagers are involved in the video, it can also lead to child pornography charges.
"These are extraordinary charges if it involves underage individuals engaging in sexual behavior," he said. "This is going to be something that's fully investigated. They'll use tracking on the internet to determine who did what, when, and who filmed it. That person can be charged with child production. Which is a 20 year offense."
McKenzie Urges Parents to Talk to Children About Appropriate Use of Technology
McKenzie says that while this incident is disappointing, it does provide an opportunity for parents to talk to children about the consequences of their actions.
Principal McKenzie said, "While I am disappointed by this event, it does provide an opportunity to ask for your support in talking to your children about the appropriate use of the technology available to them on their phones. Creating or sharing inappropriate content can have life changing consequences."
In February, an Ohio school teacher was fired after an explicit video of her having sex with her boyfriend was airdropped to more than 200 students at the school, as previously reported.