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BRENTWOOD (CBS SF) — Online bullying, kids’ access to websites and “sexting” are all topics to be covered by Brentwood police Thursday night at a meeting to remind parents that their kids’ online activity has real-world consequences.
The meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Edna Hill Middle School, comes less than a month after a boy allegedly used sexually explicit images of a female classmate to force her into sex acts, according to police.
About a dozen more students were caught exchanging explicit photos of each other, or “sexts,” via cellphone or online, police said.
Investigators are continuing to pore over phone records and have been advised by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office to hold off on arrests until prosecutors have reviewed the case, Brentwood police Sgt. Walter O’Grodnick said.
“We’re still going through the data and trying to piece everything together,” O’Grodnick said.
The case involves 12-to-14-year-old students from Adams Middle School, Bristow Middle School and Edna Hill Middle School in Brentwood, as well as Excelsior Middle School in Byron.
Following the reports of the sexual assault and sexting, parents at some of the schools received a letter informing them of the situation and asking them to remind their children to report any inappropriate images they receive.
Police Thursday night will also urge parents to take steps to prevent their children from accessing sexually explicit images.
O’Grodnick said that includes talking to their children about using social media responsibly, setting up protections to block access to certain websites and regularly monitoring their child’s online activity.
“Know what they’re looking at, have the talks with them on the potential dangers and the harm it could cause if they do transmit a photo of themselves,” the sergeant said. “You kind of lose control at that point—once you hit the ‘send’ button, it’s essentially done.”
Police will also discuss the potential legal consequences juveniles face if they use a compromising photo of someone against them, O’Grodnick said.
Thursday night’s meeting will run until 8:30 p.m. at Edna Hill Middle School at 140 Birch St. in Brentwood.
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