School authorities and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department are investigating reports of sexting at Rowan County Senior High School that so far involves only students but could also include adults.
Several students were suspended Friday amid reports of having inappropriate photos on their cellphones.
Sexting is the slang term for sending sexually explicit messages or photographs via cellphone.
Initial reports said more than 100 students were suspended, but school officials disputed that. Vice Principal Ray Ginter said 16 students were suspended Friday and several more on Monday.
Sheriff Jack Carter on Monday confirmed the investigation is going on, but offered few details. He said the number under investigation is “in the 20s.”
The investigation currently is focused on students, and no faculty or staff appear to be involved, according to Carter.
However, the investigation may reveal some adults outside the school being involved, he said.
Ginter said he had not heard of and had no reason to believe in adult involvement. The students involved were mostly freshmen and sophomores exchanging pictures between boyfriends and girlfriends, he said.
All the suspensions so far have been for a day and the suspended students lost the privilege of carrying cellphones at school for the remainder of the year, Ginter said.
Those suspended Friday were prohibited from attending homecoming activities Saturday.
School policy prohibits students from participating in activities on the day of a suspension so some athletes were unable to play on those days, Ginter said.
“We’re trying to send a message about what is appropriate and what is not appropriate,” he said.
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