Sexting Scandal at Two Bethesda Schools

Principal: Students sold explicit images of classmates

By Darcy Spencer and Tonya LaFleur
|  Friday, Apr 16, 2010  |  Updated 1:00 AM EDT
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Sexting Scandal Rocks Bethesda Schools

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Sexting Scandal Rocks Bethesda Schools

Students at two Bethesda schools are accused of buying and selling sexually explicit images of eighth grade girls during school hours.
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Students at two Bethesda schools are accused of buying and selling sexually explicit images of female classmates during school hours.

The principal of Thomas Pyle Middle School sent a letter home to parents Thursday alerting them to the sexting scheme.

“Many of these kids are straight ‘A’ students,” said Principal Michael Zarchin. “Great kids, who made a choice that they are going to have to live with for a long time.”

Some of the girls in the images were students at Pyle, while others went to Walt Whitman High School.  The principal told News4 that the girls either posed willingly for someone else or took the pictures themselves.

“Apparently the girls are either nude or partially clothed,” said Cpl. Dan Fritz, Montgomery County police. “Some of the photos were of the girls nether region -- below the waist -- and some of them are just the breast area.”

In some cases, middle school boys bought and sold access to the images to their classmates during school hours, according to police.

Zarchin discovered the images on a student’s iPad. School officials contacted the parents of the boys and girls involved.

Montgomery County Police are conducting an investigation.

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