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Sexting via Snapchat Results in Legal Consequences


A photograph is a memory frozen in time, capturing a moment for years to come—or, if it’s taken using popular smartphone app Snapchat, it is a captured memory for 10 seconds max until the picture disappears.

In the hallways, during class, throughout the lunch waves, by the bus loop and everywhere else you turn at Staples, students can be seen taking silly pictures of themselves to send to their friends. What most people don’t see, however, is what some are using this app for behind closed doors. For some at Staples, Snapchat has become the newest and most convenient way to send “sexts” to their peers.

“What’s going on is that a lot of kids are engaging in sexting [with Snapchat] and they think it’s a temporary situation—that if they send a picture, it’s going to disappear,” said Karyn Morgan, assistant principal for the freshman class, who recently discussed the Snapchat sexting issue with Principal John Dodig and Assistant Principal James Farnen at a meeting with parents.

According to Morgan, among the cases with which she has dealt, it’s generally a girl who will send a compromising photo to a boy, who might then save the picture without the sender’s knowledge. Morgan also noted that these incidents of sexting have been isolated in the freshman and sophomore grades.

“Sex is not the issue,” Dodig said. “The issue is that now there is technology that allows kids to do things that can harm them for the rest of their lives.”

Dodig refers to the serious and possibly legal implications of sending out or receiving an inappropriate picture of a minor, which may be regarded as possession or distribution of child pornography.

However, these serious consequences are often lost on those participating, likely due to the ostensibly temporary nature of sending a picture through Snapchat.

“I don’t think it even occurs to the girl that a guy is saving the Snapchat,” Griffin Thrush ’15 said.

This is due, in part to the creativity of those saving the pictures.

“You can take a snapshot, but the sender will get a notification if this occurs, so another person can take a picture of the Snapchat from another phone to save the photo,” Jackie Ortega ’15 said.

Although some Staples students have taken advantage of the app, others still use Snapchat particularly often, and generally don’t feel that its misuse has anyone shying away.

“I don’t know anyone who uses Snapchat for the sole use of sexting, so I don’t believe it will affect [the use of Snapchat at Staples] much,” Andrew Felman ’14 said.

Such is the feeling among the majority of Staples students—especially juniors and seniors—who reportedly use Snapchat only for fun.

“I enjoy sending gross pictures of my weird face to people.They seem to like it,” Ryan Moran ’13 said. “I guess I use it for laughs.”

But regardless of its use, Morgan advises that students be careful when sending pictures into cyberspace.

“You have to stop and think,” Morgan said. “If I send this picture, where will it go? How will it be received? What will happen to me?”

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Zoe Brown, Editor-in-Chief
When it comes down to it, managing schoolwork can be tough to handle. Think about being someone who can manage double the work. Zoe Brown ‘16 does just that. Brown performs a stunning job juggling her status as a good student, Editor-in-Chief of Inklings and her position as the co-president of TAG (Teen Awareness Group). But as Brown painfully put it, she never goes to bed before 12 and often her associations embezzle half her free time. Being impressive like Zoe comes with long hours of time and commitment. Not everything fell into place for Brown from the start. Brown was forced to move to Westport in eighth grade after her father found a new job in Greenwich. This was especially agonizing for her after growing up in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania for 14 years. The transition was tough going into the new school system. “It was terrible. I hated it. I was in this place where I was denying to myself that I would have to live here for the rest of my childhood and so I didn't branch out and make an effort to find a place,” she said. Luckily, Brown’s love for writing set her up for three great years on Inklings, where she made many of her friends she still has today. Also this past summer Brown visited Columbia and Boston University, helping her with everything from feature design to investigative reporting. After high school, Zoe hopes to study journalism and communications. But for now, she is set with the interesting people she meets on the job. Brown had a fun time interviewing an actor at an event held at Oscars Deli, saying how “he was very enthusiastic about the interview which made it fun.”
Katie Cion, Editor-in-Chief
The only girl surrounded by a brand-new Bernese Mountain puppy and four brothers (one a twin) Katie Cion is used to chaos.  She believes that she thrives in it, which is one of the reasons she and Inklings are such a perfect match.  The bedlam, she says, “is a lot like home”. A multi-talented member of the Staples community, Katie dedicates her time not only to Inklings, but also TAG, the Yearbook, Student Ambassadors, National Honors Society, and Spanish National Honors Society.  An English lover, Katie’s pursuit of Inklings and journalism helped bring her appreciation of reading and writing into a real world application. “I’m not sure if I want to pursue a career in journalism, but if I do I want to write long-form articles, like in magazines.  It’s so cool to combine the literary and reporting aspects, to see all the work the writer(s) put in, and to have all those little details,” Cion said. With a wide range of articles ranging from news to sports to opinions, Cion’s prowess in the literary field is clearly apparent, as is the pride she takes in her position as Editor-in-Chief this year. “It was so rewarding to know the people I looked up to thought I would do a good job,” Cion said.  “It was nice to get affirmation from people you respect.” With an equally impressive and overwhelming schedule, it is remarkable how well Katie manages herself.  Her composure and kindness make her not only a phenomenal addition to the Inklings staff, but also a thoughtful and capable leader.

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