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April 22--  The Chief Judge of the Middle Judicial Circuit made a visit to Robert Toombs Christian Academy in Lyons to warn middle and high school students about the dangers of sexting.

kathypalmer"The don't realize they could end up in the Youth Detention Center until they're 17 and then in the county jail until they're 21.  They don't think about these consequences, they just think it's cute," Judge Kathy Palmer said.

The judge said the exchange of inappropriate photos or comments can have long term effects on a teenager's life,"Once a child allows themself to have that nude or partially nude photo made and sent to someone else then they both technically possess child porn.  If it's distributed any further then they're subject to a sexual predator picking it up and that child could become the victim of a sexual predator or become the subject of bullying or humiliation.  You can also get into the situation where you are trying to get into college or gain a scholarship and all of that is discoverable by a school and it really ruins a child's life."

Judge Palmer also urges parents to be hyper-vigilant monitoring their kids on the internet and learning the slang that often doesn't mean what you think, "I know a parent who checked their child's phone regularly and they checked it and it said, between the girl and her boyfriend, "Netflix and chill?"  The parent thought they were going to get together and watch Netflix and chill out, but no, that's the currently go for let's go have sex.  The parent didn't know that, it seemed to be totally innocent, so parents can't be too vigilant in staying on top of what's going on." 

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