Teen ‘tricked’ into naked school scandal
A TEENAGE girl has bravely spoken out after she was tricked into sharing a naked Snapchat photo that was sent to her entire school.
Megan Hinton, 14, was branded a "slut" and a "prostitute" after a bully shared the nude photo on social media after pretending to be an older male student, The Sun reported.
The tormented teenager had been relentlessly pressured by the "boy", at one point threatened with appearing to seem "frigid".
But when she finally relented she received an instant Snapchat reply from a girl, who sent a photo of herself grinning with the message "ha ha I've got you".
The next day, Megan, from Marchwood in Hampshire, England, was mocked by classmates at Hounsdown School in Totton, Hants, and the photo quickly spread among its 1215 pupils on platforms including WhatsApp and Facebook.
"I was like a zoo animal, people were just following me around and laughing and shouting stuff at me and making sick noises," the teen said.
"It was all anyone was talking about, and people were throwing notes at me with nasty words on like 'slut'.
"I was classed as a prostitute, as a sort of stripper because everybody had seen my body.
"I thought I was worthless."
Now 19, Megan is studying multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University and has chosen to speak out about her horror experience.
She recalled how she'd been chatting to the "boy" for two weeks and getting messages every hour asking her to send a nude photograph of herself.
Megan thought all of her friends were doing the same.
"It was all so normalised, so I thought it was OK," she said.
"He was constantly telling me that if I didn't do it he would tell everyone I was frigid.
"Everyone would talk about sending nudes, and when I'd go into school I'd hear other girls talking about how they send them to their boyfriends.
"I sent the photo and then realised that I wasn't talking to who I thought I was talking to.
"It made me feel disgusting and worthless."
Megan eventually told her class tutor at Hounsdown School and police were informed.
But she feels her case was dealt badly with, adding she was "led to believe I was a sex offender."
She added: "I felt it was my fault and I didn't have the right to feel upset.
"Everything else goes back to normal. It's the victim who lives with the consequences."
Now Megan is working with Hampshire Police to share her story and warn students of the risks of social media.
Today they released a short film called Sending Nudes: #ItHappenedToMe to mark "Safer Internet Day".
PC Maria Carrick, of Hampshire Police, said: "We hope that hearing about Megan's experience and how she overcame this difficult time will give strength and support to young people who experience bullying and pressure for nude pictures or naked selfies.
"We don't seek to criminalise young people, we want them to understand we can really help.
"We encourage parents and teachers not to be afraid to talk to children about their activities on social media and explain the importance of privacy, and thinking before uploading content online, to prevent them from becoming both the victims and perpetrators."
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced with permission.