GREENSBORO—An investigation into inappropriate photo posts of underage students on Instagram continues to grow in North Carolina.
The State Bureau of Investigation is working with multiple local law enforcement agencies on more than 30-accounts. The first report of the issue came from Wake County.
Teenagers say Twitter and Instagram are popular social media sites around high school kids and the trend of 'sexting' is starting younger than many may think.
"[It can start in] seventh-grade [or] sixth-grade," said Guilford County high school student Stephanie Olson.
Col. Randy Powers of the Guilford County Sheriff's Office wants to raise awareness of the potential outcomes, adding that people might be surprised by who faces more stringent charges if the photo spreads.
"When they take that picture and they send it to another person, even though they don't mean for it to go viral, it can by many ways. Distribution itself goes along as a lesser crime than the person who actually manufactures it, which is the simple taking of the picture,” said Powers.
Powers said under the age of 18, charges can include sexually exploiting a child, even if it's a photo of yourself.
"It is a felony and in some Class D felony, which is just a few levels below homicide,” he said.
Investigators encourage parents to put their trust aside and stay ahead of the trend.