Experts share advice after Savannah-Chatham student posts alleged sexual assault video online


SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – A Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) student was arrested on Sunday for allegedly recording a sexual assault. The disturbing video was posted and shared on social media.

Savannah Police said the video has been removed, but parents are appalled their children were not only watching the video but may have helped to spread it.

Whitney Owens is a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of Waters Edge Counseling. She told News 3 most pre-teens and teenagers don’t understand the long term ramifications of social media.

She said it’s important for parents to discuss how their kids are feeling or portraying themselves online, especially after viewing a video of a crime.

“Ultimately, they find love when we set boundaries with them. Even though they’re going to act like they don’t. So by you going to them saying, ‘I’m concerned about this behavior’, that shows love, and they know that long term even if they don’t act like it,” said Owens.

Corporal Dion Hurley is with the Juvenile Division, Savannah Police Department. He told News 3 many parents don’t recognize a problem until the situation escalates.

Hurley also said it’s important for parents to have those tough conversations with their kids about when the information that is being shared is a form of bullying or exploitation of another child.

“You want to be able to get that good job that you worked so hard for and went to school for. You don’t want to have social media or have something come out of a cloud that wrecks your whole day and your whole way of life,” Hurley said.

SCCPSS released this statement regarding the sexual assault investigation:

“SCCPSS is aware of allegations circulating about a juvenile involved in illegal and inappropriate activity that occurred over the weekend.  SCCPSS will not comment on incidents that occur with juveniles in the community that are non-school related.  We are committed to cooperating with law enforcement when warranted and taking appropriate precautions for the safety of our students and staff.  The Savannah Police Department is the lead investigating agency regarding this incident and any further requests for information should be directed to them.”

If you or someone you know is in need of counseling, click here for more information on Water’s Edge Counseling.

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