One again, sexting allegations are rocking a school in Colorado. Parents of students at Bear Creek K-8 School in Lakewood learned of the incident late last week when a letter went home to families.
The district says right now, the allegations involve more than five 8th grade students.
A district spokesperson told Denver7, school administrators heard rumors of students sharing inappropriate photos by text message and on social media last week. The district said in a letter home to parents that the rumors were found to be true after school leaders began investigating.
Denver7 spoke with parents of students at the school who were stunned to learn that this was going on at their children’s school.
“We started to discuss with them the severity of the ramifications of their actions in regards to this type of stuff,” said Aaron Espinoza, who’s a parent of two students at Bear Creek K-8 School. “Whether it be small talk on the playground or using devices that are technologically advanced enough to be able to do such things.”
Now the district is warning students of the serious consequences sexting carries with it, which could in some cases ultimately end in expulsion from the district.
“It's important to respect other people, to respect yourself, to make responsible decisions, you know follow our code of conduct, it's there for a reason and that not only can you get in trouble at school you hurt people," said Diana Wilson, Jefferson County School District Spokesperson.
Wilson said the investigation has been turned over the Lakewood Police Department, which early in the process hasn’t yet found that a crime has been committed.
“There were no nudity images I should say on anyone’s phone that we’ve been able to find as of yet, so without that, we don’t even know that we have a crime that’s occurred,” said Steve Davis, Lakewood Police Department spokesperson.
Legislators tackled a bill just weeks ago that would make underage sexting a misdemeanor. Rep. Rhonda Fields is a co-sponsor of the bill and tells Denver7 she believes rash decisions by minors shouldn’t impact them with felony charges for the rest of their lives. The bill stalled in the House Committee on Public Health Care and Human Services and will die if a committee member doesn’t make a motion to re-assign the bill to a different committee by Friday.
Fields tells Denver7, the time to act on the bill is now and she’s going to use the Bear Creek allegations as leverage when pushing other lawmakers to act on the bill.
“I’m going to have to gather the facts so that when I am lobbying someone on the committee that I have all of the details to express a higher sense of urgency, the time to address this issue is now,” said Fields.
The investigation continues.