Authorities say some students at Cañon City High School have been part of a large sexting ring.
300 to 400 nude photos had been circulating around the high school and the ring involved over 100 students, some of whom may be in middle school. In a town with only 16,000 people and a high school of 1,000 the sexting ring has become a big deal for local authorities.
Most of the students involved are part of the high school football team, the Cañon City Tigers. Due to players’ involvement in the ring, the Tigers had to forfeit their last football game of the season. A separate meeting was held for the parents of the team and for other students involved in the scandal, according to the New York Times.
The students involved used “ghost apps,” applications with secret vaults used to hide anything from photos to notes, which was why no one initially found out about the sexting ring. The applications are also called vault apps, and can appear to look similar to the calculator app on phones.
There was also a point system used for students who collected photographs. Different point values were assigned to different students, according to the New York Times. Students would gain points by adding the photos to their collections.
Some students have already been suspended, but officials don’t exactly know how to proceed. Usually, students would be charged with child pornography charges, but most of them are minors themselves, which makes the question of how to go about disciplining students tough to answer.
Yet, this high school is not the only place where teenagers are sending nude photographs to classmates. 54 percent of teens under the age of 18 surveyed said that they have sexted before, according to Time Magazine. This is a growing national trend, and officials in the small Colorado town are astounded at how large the sexting ring became.