OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- After school officials discovered a group of Shawnee Mission North students were passing around nude photos, police are using the incident as a reminder for parents.
Several students recently went to school administrators with concerns that a group of teenage boys at Shawnee Mission North High School had been sharing photos of naked girls at the school through group chat.
"We had an incident at school with alleged pictures of minors and they were on a group chat," said Katana Aloi, a Shawnee Mission North student who reported the photos to school officials.
The school took those concerns to the police.
By the time police were involved, the photos were gone. But Overland Park Police Officer John Lacy said one of the boys involved told the school resource officer it was adult porn -- not nude photos of minors -- shared on Snapchat.
"They had downloaded from a porn site, and they decided they wanted to share with one another," Lacy said.
Police said the allegation that minors were involved stemmed from text messages from one of the boys to a girl who went to school officials, saying, "A lot of people are involved," "You know it's illegal," and "Every guy has done something like this."
Those messages then got posted on Aloi's Facebook page for everyone to see.
"I think it is a cause for suspicion when you have someone talking of guilt over a message," Aloi said.
The boys' actions aren't illegal, but they're not a good idea, Lacy said.
But it is another reminder to teens and parents about the pitfalls of social media and how fast things like this can spread, Lacy said.
"Do a search on your kid's cell phone," he said. "If they don't give you the password or if they won't give you the phone, then you can take away the phone. You pay for that phone. You pay the cost. You be the boss."
Lacy also stressed that if teenagers do get caught passing around naked photos of minors, that is a felony and they will be charged.
The Shawnee Mission School District released the following statement Thursday:
"A concern that included the safety and well-being of our students was brought to the attention of the Shawnee Mission North administration. The administration conducted an extensive investigation which included interviewing students, contacting parents and communicating with the Shawnee Mission School District Police Department and the Overland Park Police Department. No evidence was found that corroborated the matter and the identification of any individuals was not determined. The district will continue to investigate the matter if additional information comes forward."