The recent arrest of a high school student for taking and posting a picture on Twitter of a special needs student using the bathroom is spurring response. 18-year-old Jonathan DeVito was arrested at Union High School Wednesday afternoon on complaints of manufacturing and distributing child pornography.
Social media and technology specialist Bill Handy told KRMG news the proper and improper use of mobile phones and other devices is becoming a bigger issue all the time”most definitely the integration of technology really extends the ramifications of anybody’s actions.”
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Handy thinks the situation is unfortunate but can be used as a learning opportunity “what’s important to remember is that all of our actions have consequences.” Bill continued “technology is not excluded from that.”
What happened at Union can, and does happen in other places but Handy thinks too much attention is paid to the technology part of things. “It would be inappropriate for anybody to do anything that’s hurtful to any other person with or without a camera phone in their hand.”
Bills best advice is to talk to you kids and remind them that social media and the internet are forever “to oftentimes young adults think that things might be private. He explained further “the truth is the only way to keep a secret is to not tell anybody and the same holds true for the digital world.” The best message “the only way to keep something a secret is to not post it online.”
Bill suggests parents use the same technology that can cause the problem to help curb it. “Send them a text message reminding them what they use that phone for will last forever.”
The bottom line? “Respect matters and it doesn’t matter if you’re in a crowd making fun of somebody or doing it online, it’s still inappropriate.”
The attorney for the student released a statement saying the incident was unfortunate. Attorney Joel A. LaCourse added “the family does not think that the quick filing of four felony counts is appropriate for what appears to be, at most, youthful indiscretion.”