Meet the new juvenile deliquency issue of the computer age: sexting.
Sexting, or sending out nude photos of oneself or others, is the new fad among teenagers who may send nude photos as a form of high-tech flirting, or merely as a prank to embarass a classmate.
Some cops don't so, as child protection laws now prohibit even kids (some as young as 6th graders) from sending, receiving or storing nude photos electronically. Although legislation was originally enacted to protect minors, kids themselves may not be immune to the law, depending on how strongly local jurisdictions want to enforce it.
Part of the problem, some police officials say, is how quickly these photos can be posted on Internet social sites to lure adult stalkers posing as teens, eventually leading to escalated sexting and possible assault, or worse.
Currently, both teachers and law enforcement are raising the alarm on sexting and are warning parents to take a look at their child's cell phone or Facebook page to see if their kids are baring it all online.
Although kids may think nothing of it, parents need to explain the possible consequences of sending nude pictures - which may result in full legal penalties or possible harassment charges from other teens or their parents.
How to stop it? While authorities realize that parents can't keep kids and teens under lock and key, they suggest the old-fashioned way of making kids tow the line: by reminding them of who pays the bills, and by pulling the plug on their computers and cell phones if sexting ever becomes an issue.
More about sexting and the law around the Web: