Updated - Thursday Is Amnesty Deadline For Deletion of Eisenhower School Sexting Images

Argument involving girlfriends of the boys that received the image alerted school authorities.

On Thursday new details started to emerge as to how Eisenhower Middle School officials became aware that were circulating through the school, just as a temporary amnesty period for possession of the nude pictures came to an end.

Anyone now caught in possession of those pictures will face child pornography charges, Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox told Patch on Thursday."

Anyone caught with those images still on their phones will be arrested and charged. We're talking child pornography charges," Fox said. "It's serious and you don't want to go there."

On Thursday Fox told Patch that the issue first came to attention when the girlfriends of the boys that originally received the image confronted the 13-year-old student.

"Some girls learned that their boyfriends had the picture and then there was an argument between those girls and the girl that was involved," Fox said. "That was overheard by the staff and they investigated and ultimately learned what had taken place."

The Eisenhower Middle School sexting scandal first reported on Patch Tuesday went viral Wednesday evening as multiple television news networks descended on Wyckoff reporting on the 13-year-old Eisenhower Middle School student who took nude pictures of herself and then emailed them to two teen boys.

The images were circulated and may have been viewed by dozens of students, according to police.Fox offered a 48-hour amnesty period on Tuesday allowing anyone in possession of the images to immediately delete them without further repercussions. 

As far as how the police department will go about enforcing the ban of the image, Fox conceded they have some limitations.

"We say you can't have the images so the question is now what are we going to do about it. The answer is there's not a lot we can do at this juncture. It's illegal for us to start conducting searches of phones. There's no lawful way for us to go about that," Fox said. "But...law enforcement learns things. People tell us things. And if we learn those images are still out being kept or distributed we will press charges. But we're not searching phones. We can't."

Eisenhower principal Stephen Raimo said Eisenhower had a similar sexting incident in 2008.  The police department also offered an amnesty pact in that case and there were no arrests.

Alice Cole May 21, 2011 at 01:20 AM
There is most certainly many advantages to a cell phone and though it would probably be best if they were not allowed in schools that would be almost impossible. My thought is that a no-frills cell phone should be allowed but no camera or other enhancement should be considered. Cameras are becoming an infringement on privacy and a dangerous tool unsupervised.
Christopher McGown May 21, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Often times, we are parents don't know what we don't know. Our children are far more comfortable in the mobile world than we traditionally are. Unfortunately, so are the 'bad guys.' We need to put technology on our side. There are several products out there to help, but the only I like best is KidZafe. Learn more at www[dot]Kid411.info
Christopher McGown May 21, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Resident, I agree with many of your thoughtful points. However, the issue at hand is target is always moving. That is, the students educated today do NOT pass on this education. Parents are often ill- or mis-informed about the dangers that accompany the advantages of be connected. Add to that, the fact that is is human nature to believe 'my child would never do that'. Well, that might be true, but sometimes bad things happen TO a child. A community leader (person or group) needs to run with this passion. As a Certified Child & Internet Safety Advocate, I conduct free workshops for teens, and the adults who love them on internet and mobile safety. I have made it my mission that everyone in my community will be given an opportunity to get the facts and the tools to help. That means, that I conduct (nearly) the same workshop at the same school/club/church every year, or two, or three times a year...every year. Unfortunately, I don't live in your community, but if someone there wants to become an certified advocate to take on this passion of protection, I'd be happy to assist them. I can be reached at chris@kid411[dot]info.
Mary Rossi May 24, 2011 at 09:40 PM
As disturbing as this incident is, I am pleased that none of the students were expelled from school. In this age of zero tolerance we too often forget that these are children we are dealing with - they are going to make mistakes, especially in this age of techno-madness. What is more disturbing to me is how a private school in Wyckoff expelled an eigth grader for having a fight with another student. The boy had been in the school for ten years without incident and his family has been in the school for twenty years. What ever happened to "boys will be boys", common sense, and fairness? What really irks me is how the parents of the other eight graders in the class didn't rally round this family and at least demand to be heard. It could have been any one of their kids who was subjected to the whims of this principal who obviously doesn't understand adolescent male behavior. It's truly a shame and a disgrace that this devoted family was treated so unjustly. Mary Rossi
Mia DiPrizito May 25, 2011 at 05:03 PM
I appreciate and respect the comments made by concerned citizens this isnt just a problem in the home- its out in society- people are famous for making sex videos...We as parents and neighbors need to let the general public know what is going on and how it is not appropriate to post, email text inappropriate behavior whether its nude photos/harsh words/malicious comments. I am not asking the school or the police to fix this- we need to work as a team to educate our young people and believe me a lot of adults in our perfect Wyckoff world- stuff happens and it is happening here and now with our children- let's use this to be a teachable moment instead of judging and clucking our tongues. How can we pull a group together starting in the 5th grade to talk about these issues? Sincerely, Mia DiPrizito


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