Key Coverage

And Everyone Saw It

The seventh-grader’s sext was meant to impress him. Then he shared it. It nearly destroyed her.

When Maureen’s parents were in middle school, if a girl wanted to show a boy her body in the middle of the night, she would have to sneak out of her house, find a way to get to his, evade his parents and yank up her shirt. For their daughter, all it took was a few clicks.

A few months before, Maureen had started messaging on Kik with a tall, athletic boy in her class. They weren’t officially dating, but they talked every day. For weeks he asked for her picture. When she sent one, he asked for more. She liked him. She believed him when he said he would delete them. By March, the middle school crush had fizzled, but he still had the three photos she sent. One day, another girl in their class saw one of them on his phone. The next day, while Maureen was hiding at home, she says he texted it around the lunch room.