Suffield police investigating inappropriate texting at middle and high school

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SUFFIELD--Police are investigating allegations of sexting at Suffield schools.

Police tell FOX 61 that there have been reports of inappropriate texts sent between students, but detectives are still trying to determine what the exact nature of the inappropriate messages is.

There are six students involved from both Suffield Middle School and Suffield High School.

Detectives are still examining the phones of the children involved in the incident.

There have been rumors that this is a sexting scandal, specifically, but police say they don't yet have the evidence to support that and are still investigating.

Lola Richardson has three daughters who attend Suffield schools and said she was surprised to hear "sexting" was happening.

"When we were kids, passing notes was the worst thing that happened," Richardson said. "Kids don't realize that sending text messages is the same as a written document, it's hard evidence, and just because you delete it on your phone doesn't mean it's not out there for the world to see."

Richardson recommends having open dialogue with your children about any topic that comes up, especially since any information is available at the fingertips of today's youth.

“I think a lot of parents tend to not realize how advanced the children are," she said. “As a parent we are very open and honest try to create a neutral ground where your kids would feel comfortable coming to you with something.”

Her daughter, sixth-grader Kylee Richardson, agrees, saying all students should have someone to talk to, whether it be a parent or a teacher so they avoid issues outside of school.

"I feel like the school really does have a handle on the children," she said. "They can't stop students from what they`re doing out of school."

Superintendent of Schools Karen Berasi shared a statement with FOX 61:

The district is concerned about the safety and wellness of students.  We are investigating along with the Suffield Police Department allegations of inappropriate student use of social media off school grounds.  As a school district we continue to increase our efforts to highlight internet safety to students, parents and teachers.   As recently as Monday students grades 5 through 8 received internet safety training from an internet safety expert.  Weeks ago plans were in place to have this same expert present to parents on April 5. Our goal is  to continuously improve student and family awareness of social media citizenship. Parents should visit our website for internet safety tips.

The Internet safety workshop iss for parents in the district and will be held by Scott Driscoll, of Internet Safety Concepts, a company based out of South Windsor that teaches children about the dangers of the Internet and how to stay safe online. Driscoll, a former law enforcement officer, will teach the following topics at the workshop:

  • Apps and programs children are using
  • Cyberbullying, sexting and social networking
  • Creating a "digital footprint" (positives and negatives)
  • Current on-line trends and potential dangers
  • Tips on how to use technology in the safest way
  • Strategies on keeping families safe

The workshop will be held at Suffield Middle School, located at 350 Mountain Road, on April 5 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.