CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—Chesterfield County teenagers are posting, reading and sharing dirty secrets on a Twitter account that has parents—and the police—outraged and concerned.
Brooke Doyle can't believe it. Neither can Jennifer Singleton.
"I'm disgusted," Doyle said. "It's really sad that our kids are exposed to this stuff."
"They're not anything I would want my kids to be reading," Singleton said.
Both Doyle and Singleton are mothers of students who attend Chesterfield County Public Schools. The two just learned about a Twitter account that encourages high schoolers to submit confessions.
"It's just one more thing the kids have to face," Doyle said.
The account, @Chesterfessions, popped up on Twitter on Sunday and had more than 1,800 followers as of Monday evening. The user claimed to be a Clover Hill High School student and asked for anonymous confessions, many of which are graphic.
One student who claimed to attend Manchester High School wrote, "I had sex with a guy one time and he recorded it. Didn't even know until he started showing people."
Another Clover Hill student wrote, "Got alcohol poisoning last summer. Twice. #NoRegrets."
A student claiming to attend Cosby High School said, "Had sex on an elementary school playground."
"I don't know if they're true or not," Singleton said. "I don't know if the kids are doing it just to show off, or brag about things they think they might have done, or things that they would like to do."
@Chesterfessions' profile uses a picture of the Chesterfield County Public Schools logo—a concern for parents, who think others could believe it is an official account the school system is running.
"I think just ‘cause they're using the Chesterfield logo, it's probably not something that Chesterfield's gonna want to have their name behind," Singleton said.
"Absolutely, yeah shut [it] down," Doyle said. "For one thing, it's very deceiving with the symbol that it's an official site, number one, and number two, it's pretty much porn on Twitter."
When ABC 8 News Senior Reporter Nate Eaton asked Chesterfield County Public Schools if administrators were aware of the @Chesterfessions account, a spokesperson referred him to the Chesterfield County Police Department.
By Monday night, the account had been suspended. Students quickly reacted to its removal on Twitter.
An account called @804Schools wrote, "It's okay guys Chesterfessions will be back."
A Hopewell resident wrote, "If you're going to charge @Chesterfessions, then every single person that submitted something needs to get charged too."
Another user wrote, "Well so much for Chesterfessions..it was good while it lasted."
It appears a similar Midlothian account called @MidloConfess was also recently removed. Students criticized the account on Twitter for bullying students using their actual names.
One student wrote, "MidloConfess is like Chesterfessions if Chesterfessions wasn't funny at all and really mean."
Another tweeted, "Everyone report midloconfess they just took it too far."
Experts say the number one thing parents can to do prevent their children from becoming involved in this type of negative online activity is to communicate with their teens and let them know you're concerned about their social media activities.
It's also essential to monitor your child's Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other accounts. If you see suspicious or questionable material, contact police; many departments have cyber units that investigate these sorts of activities.
Many accounts like @Chesterfessions start out intending to be harmless jokes, but can quickly escalate to cyber-bullying, and even criminal activity.
Eaton messaged the creator of the @Chesterfessions account for comment, but received no response.
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