MAGNOLIA – Nowadays, pretty much everyone, even middle school kids, has cell phones.
But now, there’s an uproar after a bus full of students were sent content that some adults wouldn’t consider safe.
“He said he saw nudity and other things,” said the father of an 11-year-old Magnolia ISD middle schooler.
Although the father did not want to be identified, he said he still wanted to speak out about inappropriate content he said his child and several other students were recently exposed to while riding the school bus.
“He doesn’t have a cell phone, but other students showed him on the bus certain very explicit photos that were being airdropped to kids,” the parent said. “It’s very upsetting. I mean, these kids shouldn’t be exposed to anything like that.”
The airdrop feature is a way to share media between iPhone users.
While not going into detail, Magnolia ISD officials said they are aware of at least one incident where a student sent an inappropriate photo out.
The district released the following statement in regards to the incident:
“Magnolia ISD was made aware of a photo that was air-dropped on the bus. The situation was investigated and is being addressed at the campus. The district encourages parents to review parental settings on their child’s phone and to talk with their child about appropriate phone use. Magnolia ISD is hosting parent/community engagement night on March 23 at 6 p.m. at the Magnolia Event Center about “Digital Dilemma.” Guest speaker Timothy Shoemaker will be presenting about online challenges, smart social media, protecting your mental health, individual responsibility, and more about this topic. www.timothyshoemaker.com”
If your child does have an iPhone, you can disable airdrop by going to settings, then screen time, clicking on content and privacy restrictions, and under allowed apps find AirDrop and there you can turn it off. You can also set other parental controls such as location sharing and internet access.
Concerned parents are hoping others take advantage of the safety features.
“Stuff like this can be very traumatizing,” the parent said.
The FBI says if your underaged child does receive inappropriate content, don’t share, save it for evidentiary purposes and report it to local authorities.