Pleasanton school officials are warning parents to monitor their children’s social media use after learning that some students have been solicited by someone via social media to submit pornographic pictures of themselves. Pleasanton Unified School District Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi said today that the students were contacted through Instagram, an app that allows users to take and share photographs. Ahmadi declined to say how many students were contacted and said the matter has been turned over to police. Pleasanton police said it has been determined that the suspicious activity actually occurred back in January and February but students only reported it recently.
Authorities are trying to track down the suspect but they believe the suspect resides outside the area. Pleasanton police said in a statement that they have launched an initial investigation into the allegations and are interviewing “involved parties” but added, “These investigations are quite complicated and require a significant amount of time, effort and collaboration from social media outlets and the courts.”
Police said they don’t have any other information to release at this time and won’t release the names of the students or school locations because of the young ages of the students who were contacted. Ahmadi said the solicitations are “an opportunity to tell parents to talk to their children about being careful about their social media activity.”
The school district sent an alert to parents on Thursday saying, “We would like to inform you about recent Instagram activity that is of concern.” The district said messages received from an account outside of the Pleasanton area requested that “students send inappropriate pictures of themselves in exchange for pictures of the account holder.” The district said, “Police have been notified and are working with Instagram to determine to whom the account belongs.” The school district said, “When events such as this happen, it is an excellent time to discuss Internet safety with your child.”
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