TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – News10 talked to people around the Brunswick-Brittonkill Central School District and they are stunned how random and intrusive the text message was. Nobody knows who is behind it, which has made some people very anxious.
“It’s crazy because I know it could easily happen to me. It’s very like, it’s creepy,” said Tamarac High Senior Cierra Deuel.
Cierra Deuel said she heard other students talking about a text message they received from an unknown number on Thursday.
This message was sent to girls at Tamarac High School that asked them to send inappropriate pictures.
“They were on edge. They didn’t feel comfortable really,” said Deuel.
In a letter to parents, the school district said it contacted the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office as soon as it learned what happened. The Sheriff’s Office is now investigating and advising students to not respond to the text, block the number, and notify the principal right away.
Stephanie Gamble, who lives in Petersburg, said she dealt with a similar situation in high school.
“It made me feel like I was another girl for guys to play around with. They didn’t really care,” said Gamble.
Gamble said she tried to protect their online identity and encouraged others to do the same.
“Keep your numbers off-line and keep your addresses off-line. Don’t talk to people you don’t know. Everything that’s online is for anybody else to see. It doesn’t matter if you have a block or not, people can still find it,” said Gamble.
The school district is telling parents to speak with their children about safe and proper ways to use cell phones, social media, and other online applications.
News10 talked to people Friday that agree with monitoring your online footprint is the first step at combating cases like this.
“If you want to stop anything like that, definitely. It’s a huge site and companies sell information all the time, clear your cookies. Dude, that’s how they track you, that’s how they get all of your stuff,” said Tamarac High Graduate Christopher Robichaud.
The sheriff’s department has been notified, and they are investigating.
They are asking anyone with information on this case to give them a call.
The district posted a letter from Secondary School Principal Richard Pogue to parents on its website.
The letter provided advice for parents from police, including talking to their children and encouraging them to report any harmful behavior. In addition, kids who receive a similar message should not respond to the text, the number should be blocked, and an adult should be notified immediately.