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Bridgewater, N.J. Students Warned To Delete Photos After Sexting Outbreak

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BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It may seem like students being caught sexting is becoming the norm, but at yet another high school in New Jersey Wednesday, students were being warned to get rid of inappropriate pictures on their cellphones or face the consequences.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, the latest scandal erupted at Bridgewater-Raritan Regional High School in Bridgewater.

Police said a student alerted educators that nude selfies of female students, originally sent to their boyfriends, were being shared with male classmates.

The school superintendent declined to comment, but students said what they had been told.

“Whenever one of the guys in the group chat got a picture or something like that, they just put it in the group chat,” said Daniel Hernandez, 17.

Authorities said they have discovered about 15 different images on cell phones, which they said showed five different girls.

“I think it is out of, like, pressure and peer pressure from other people,” said Arthi Palani, 17. “They think they have to do it to look good in front of their friends, or their boyfriends, or in their relationship.”

Palani is concerned about the dangerous trend, and said her peers just are not thinking.

“They think that no one will see it, because it’s a just like texting between two people, but in reality, what you send out, anyone can see; not just one person the whole world,” she said.

But psychiatrist Dr. Rosalind Dorlen blamed the trend on immediate access to technology. She also blamed the role models teens now have, including stars such as Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus.

‘These are the models seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth grade girls see, and they think this is appropriate,” said Dorlen, of Overlook Medical Center in Summit, New Jersey.

None of the students who were caught were to be charged under a New Jersey statute that makes distributing inappropriate images a child pornography crime.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s office said the issue is simply a school matter.

But Dorlen said parents need to be vigilant.

“They have to have some very important discussions with their kids about their bodies; about their privacy,” she said.

For now, students have been warned that they have 24 hours to delete any inappropriate images, or deal with police.

Police said in some images, students could be identified, while in others, the selfies were taken from the neck down.

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