Student-made short film highlights consequences of ‘sexting’

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BEDFORD Co., Va. (WDBJ7) -- "Sexting" is a trend that is on the rise, especially among young people.

This week, the Virginia Senate passed a bill that would let minors, who share sexually explicit images with one another, face misdemeanor charges instead of felony charges.

Now, students at one Bedford County high school are trying to make their peers more aware of this issue.

A team of 18 students at Jefferson Forest High School are on a mission. "That we make a new norm because teenagers are such powerful influence to each other," explained senior Chandler Hood. "That's our goal ... is to make sexting not cool." (:03)

They want to put a stop to underage "sexting" through a student-made short film. "Sexting is just something that some parents don't want to touch on because it is an uncomfortable topic," said Hood, the director of the film.

"EXPOSED," educates students on the legal consequences of sharing nude pictures with a boyfriend or girlfriend. "It is illegal and you can get charged with that and this is 100% accurate with the charges in this film," said junior Zach Fair, an actor in the film.

Under current law, the sender and recipient of sexually explicit images of minors, can face felony charges; including the minor themselves. "It has gotten people in trouble here before and were letting people it's not OK and it's OK to say 'No,'" said senior Sarah Detwiler, the lead actress in the film.

The film was developed by the Cyber Safety While Accessing Technology Team (S.W.A.T.) at Jefferson Forest High School.

S.W.A.T. was designed by The Safe Surfin' Foundation - an educational branch of the local Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The team says it took two months to create the film and they hope to make a difference. "I would love to see a culture change not just because of my film but because of the movements that starts from this," explained Hood.

The Bedford County Sheriff's office is working to get the film into schools statewide.

The student team also launched the "I Stand Against" campaign on Friday to encourage students to take a public stance against sexting.