"Sexting" Trend Shifts to Younger Teens

"A young lady took a picture of herself in the bathtub with no clothes on and sent it to her boyfriend. Other students got a hold of the picture and it was all over the school within two days," Girard Middle School Teacher Nicole Guilford said.

The girl didn't come back to school for weeks, she was only 13 at the time.

Kids are maturing at the same rate technology is evolving - very fast.

So are the rates of younger teen’s sexting and putting out graphic pictures online.

"We see it a lot with middle school girls, 6th through 8th grade. Where they just really don't see any type of consequence to what they do, "Executive Director of Girls Inc, Jaime Hale said.”

A recent Journal Pediatrics study shows kids who reported sexting, were several times more likely to engage in sexual behavior.

"Since kids are growing up a little faster, it's important to talk to your kids about sex, sexting, sex education. So they'll be prepared when they go to school with older kids, who may be a little more advanced and they know not to fall under peer pressure," Guilford said.

While peer pressure comes and goes, anything you send via - text message or put on social media stays there even after you've deleted it.

"It's there. It's there forever. Employers are looking at stuff like that nowadays and you don't want something from five years ago to come up and get in the way of you reaching your dream job." Hale said.

If kids show the inappropriate posts to other people the consequences could be even worse.

"If it is sexting and you're showing multiple people, we get our school resource officer involved because that’s possession of child pornography and distributing child pornography," Honeysuckle Middle School’s Principal Scott Faulk said.

Even if parents don't see any evidence of sexting - Communication, education and keeping an eye out is key.

"Monitor your child, place restrictions on their phone and not limit that on their phones - go on to their social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Just know what's going on with your kid at all times," Guilford said.

If you know what's going on with them, they may be more willing to come to you when they have a problem.

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