Pleasanton police and school officials are advising parents to monitor their children's social media use and to discuss internet safety after learning that students have been receiving messages to send pornographic pictures of themselves through Instagram, an app that allows users to take and share photos.
Pleasanton Unified School District Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi said Friday that the students were contacted through Instagram, an app that allows users to take and share photographs.
Ahmadi declined to reveal the names of students or school locations because of the young ages of the students involved. She did say the messages were reported to school administration by one student who had knowledge of the activity. From there, administrators were able to find the students who were solicited, and reported the information to Pleasanton police.
According to Sgt. Kurt Schlehuber, the Instagram messages occurred at one school and there are two reported victims.
Pleasanton police said in a statement that they have launched an investigation and are interviewing reported victims but added "These investigations are quite complicated and require a significant amount of time, effort and collaboration from social media outlets and the courts."
They have determined that the Instagram activity began in January and February but students have only reported it recently. Police believe the suspect resides outside the area.
The school district sent an alert to parents last Thursday saying, "When events such as this happen, it is an excellent time to discuss Internet safety with your child."
Schlehuber said it's helpful for parents to know their child's usernames and passwords, especially if they have a social media account.
"The minute you post something on the Internet, it's there permanently," Schlehuber said, as an advisory to children and teens. "You can delete a post on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook; but just know someone out there has already seen it and shared it."