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Sexting at Iqaluit's Inuksuk high school prompts RCMP talk

School officials have called in the RCMP to talk with students after recent incidents at Inuksuk High School of students sharing naked photos of classmates.

Trading of naked photos worries school officials and parents

RCMP Sgt. Yvonne Niego will be talking to students at Iqaluit's Inuksuk High School on the dangers of sexting and cyberbullying on Wednesday. (CBC)

RCMP officers will be lecturing students on the dangers of sexting and cyberbullying at Inuksuk high school in Iqaluit on Wednesday, in the wake of a handful of incidents of students sharing naked photos of classmates.

"Once a photo or piece of info gets out there into cyberspace, it's there forever," said Sgt. Yvonne Niego, the officer in charge of the presentation.

"The peer impacts are huge."

The local RCMP detachment began an investigation after school officials flagged a number of incidents of students exchanging naked photos of classmates. Niego said there may be more than one victim.

Though there have been similar cases in the past, Niego said this is the first time it's happened in Nunavut on a large scale.

A conversation about consequences

Niego's presentation will touch on the consequences of underage people sharing nude photos, both legally and socially. Though Niego will lead the discussion, she said she wants the students to feel like they're a part of the conversation. 

"I'll be asking a lot of questions and having them provide the answers," said Niego.

"I think most youth know the difference between right and wrong."

To that end, she'll be handing out blank cards for students to write questions to her anonymously. There will also be a screening of an RCMP video about a teen who is sexually harassed by her peers after being pressured into sharing a nude photo of herself.

Niego wouldn't go into specifics about what criminal charges are potentially faced by the teens sharing the photos, but did bring up the death of Rehtaeh Parsons.

The Nova Scotia teen was taken off life support in 2013 following a suicide attempt; she had been bullied both online and in person after sexually explicit photos of her were shared among classmates. The tragedy prompted Nova Scotia to enact new laws against cyberbullying.

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