Steps To Take If You Discover Online Child Pornography

A family from Conroe, Texas is suing Snapchat, Conroe ISD, and a teacher, who, they allege, used the social media platform to groom and seduce their underage child.

The student is a sophomore at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas. The alleged perpetrator is a 36-year-old teacher. She was arrested in January and charged with indecency with a child. She is currently out on bond.

According to the victim's family, Snapchat's design allows sexual predators, like the accused, to target underage children and fails to protect them. The parents allege, "Snapchat's disappearing-messages function provided the perfect cover and opportunity for [the accused] to prey on her students."

The accused allegedly used Snapchat to send the young male victim seductive photos and inappropriate messages. The perpetrator also used the platform to arrange private, off-campus meetings with the boy.

Attorneys representing the victim's family also said, the accused teacher gave the young boy money and prescription drugs and encouraged him to take the drugs before their encounters.

The boy's family discovered the relationship after he overdosed on prescription drugs, according to the lawsuit. Michelle Homer "Conroe family sues Snapchat, Conroe ISD after teacher allegedly used platform to groom underage student" https://www.khou.com/article/news/crime/conroe-family-sues-snapchat-school-district/285-69c7eff0-f029-41eb-8cfa-1d67918f0afd (Feb. 25, 2022).

Commentary and Checklist

Snapchat is a multimedia instant messaging app and service developed by Snap Inc.

Users can send messages and images knowing they will exist for 10 seconds or less so long as a screenshot is not taken.

For this reason, the perpetrator in the source article used the app to send seductive photos and inappropriate messages to her target, knowing the platform would eliminate the evidence of her abuse.

If the victim hadn’t had an overdose of the prescription medication, it might have taken the family longer to discover the abuse.

Safe adults should be vigilant about children’s online communication and the message apps they use.

If you or someone else discovers child pornography, what should you do?

  • If you find it on someone else's phone or computer, preserve any evidence, if possible.
  • If you find it on the internet, note the name of the website, chat room, or newsgroup where you saw the suspected child pornography.
  • A report can be made online at the NCMEC CyberTipline or via the phone at 1-800-843-5678.
  • If you receive child pornography through unsolicited e-mail, note the sender's screen name and ISP (Internet Service Provider) and forward the entire message (do not copy and paste) to the FBI.
  • DO NOT download the child pornography yourself in order to help the FBI. You may not download such an image to your hard drive, disk, or printer without breaking the law.
  • Rely on law enforcement to conduct the investigation into the crime.
  • Assist authorities with their investigation, if requested.
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