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5th-graders to be charged for showing porn to classmates

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AMERICAN FORK -- Pornography appeared inside a classroom at a Utah County elementary school last week.

American Fork police say two fifth graders pulled up porn on the Internet and showed it to a group of their classmates. The incident happened at Forbes Elementary School on a computer that was set up to block porn.

The two 11-year-olds got around the computer's filter by typing a keyword into the browser that wasn't on the filter's list of pornographic trigger words. In doing so, they pulled up pornography, multiple images that they then showed to at least nine of their classmates.

The Alpine School District says the two kids responsible were suspended from school. Parents were contacted, and so were police, who have referred the case to juvenile court.

Prosecutors could charge the two with dealing harmful material to a minor, a second-degree felony, or they could decide to charge them with "providing an improper display," a class A misdemeanor.

Police say the kids will more than likely face the felony charge. "It's serious for the kids, but you also have to look at the other side of this. Some of the kids who were brought over there, at least one of them, I believe, is having some trouble shaking that image from his mind," said American Fork police Lt. Darren Falslev.

Investigators say they've kept close contact with the all of the students who were exposed. The kids are all home this week because it's Spring Break.

As for the kids who showed the porn, police say they've never been in trouble before. Officers are now trying to balance the seriousness of the act and that it might just be a case of kids being kids.


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