Teenagers in Michigan are accused of participating in catfish tactics to lure a teacher into sending them explicit photos.
Here at G2T, it is common to find stories of teachers caught up in sexual abuse and harassment cases against students. But sometimes, quite the opposite can happen. Oftentimes, students are caught up in unlawful practices that go far beyond typical school shenanigans. This seems to be the case at a high school in Michigan where a teacher was said to be catfished by young students, in what might have been blackmail or revenge in this circumstance.
The New York Post reports that three Michigan teenagers, all between the ages of 14 and 15, tricked an anonymous teacher into sharing nude photos of himself. While it may sound like your typical case of a teacher caught up in a scandal with a student, the students are accused of catfishing. According to police reports, the three students pretended to be a 35-year-old woman.
To understand the case, it is important to know what catfishing entails. According to WebMD, catfishing is a term used to describe those who pretend to be someone they are not over the internet. It’s a popular term heard all across social media, as many claim catfishing is a popular trend on dating sites, where people lure others into a romantic relationship built on a false narrative. A catfish often uses fake photos, and often bogus personalities to lure in others.
According to reports directly from Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Charon from News 8, the Michigan teens accused of soliciting the teacher via catfish tactics made the false profile of the woman on a dating site. The boys were said to have tricked the educator into thinking the woman was interested in a romantic relationship over an undisclosed period of time. The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department on Monday said that the catfish teens uploaded random photos of a bogus woman to share with the teacher, who in turn sent her back nude photographs. After receiving the lewd photos, the teens began sharing them with others.
The reports explicitly claim that the anonymous teacher had no idea the person he or she was talking to was underage. Some of the images he sent were nude photos, and some were in the form of sexually explicit videos. Furthermore, Capt. Charon alluded that there will be no legal charges brought up, and the teacher is not suspected of any wrongdoings.
So what exactly do authorities believe the cause of this catfishing incident might have been? Charon says it might be blackmail. Surprisingly, all three of the teenagers attend a different school than the one the teacher works at. However, Charon reported that two of the teens knew the teacher, as he was their instructor at one point in a driver’s education course.
All of the teenage boys, along with their families, are said to be cooperating with the police and the ongoing investigation into the incident. The Van Buren County Prosecutor’s Office noted that they would decide at a later time whether or not to pursue criminal charges against the boys. However, WGFR News reported that engaging in catfish schemes itself is not illegal in Michigan.
Despite the evidence depicting the series of events that led to the leaking of a teacher’s explicit photos, many parents are still upset that an educator would participate in an act that possibly could expose indecent photos of themself. Nevertheless, nothing that the anonymous teacher did was illegal, nor possibly the acts of the boys accused of catfishing the teacher. If anything, the situation sheds more light on a growing concern many families have over the internet; its ability to expose harmful content to unintentional parties.