Local doctor and counselor react to nude photo investigation - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Local doctor and counselor react to nude photo investigation

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

An NBC Chicago investigation revealed dozens of Illinois high school students nude photographs ended up on an anonymous website.

Some of those students are from Central Illinois.

It's a disturbing trend that parents may not realize is affecting their child in one way or another.

There are ways you can help and one of those is to teach that nothing you send out is ever really gone.

Close to 70 schools in the land of Lincoln have been named in an NBC investigation involving the anonymous image board Anon-IB.

Users can solicit or trade nude pictures of former students, going back to 2014.

Schools in Central Illinois include Farmington, Canton, East Peoria, Eureka, Bloomington and Minonk.

Michelle Gaede a clinical counselor with The Center for Youth and Family Solutions says the brain isn't fully developed for pre-teens and teenagers and because of that they may be excited if asked to send a nude photo, but she says it is cyber bullying.

"There could be malicious comments, passing it around school talking about this person and absolutely girls and guys both can be subject this," said Michelle Gaede, Clinical Counselor at The Center for Youth and Family Solutions.

For some young adults, sexting is considered normal.

"It's just what it is these days. everyone has a computer in their pocket and it kind of opens up a door," said Jaffruy of Peoria Heights.

Dr. Joy Miller of Joy Miller & Associates says sexting is an enormous concern, one that can haunt you forever.

She said, "It may make you more desirable but once again these pictures have consequences."

Parents there are several things that you can do as well.

Miller recommends thinking long and hard about the age that you give your child his or her first cell phone and having an open discussion about this topic.

Miller says it's also important for parents to check their children's phones and understand the lingo.

The Deceanne family says they've had conversations on the topic because it's better to be proactive than reactive.

"I think that's the biggest key it starts at home," said Laura Deceanne of Peoria.

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