A schoolboy has been arrested on suspicion of circulating indecent images of under-age girls.
The teenager has been excluded from Fulwood Academy in Preston and is now on police bail pending further enquiries.
Police are believed to have been called in by the Black Bull Lane school after claims the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, enticed a number of teenage girls to post “risqué” photographs to him on social media app Snapchat.
The mobile app lets users send images that are removed from the recipient’s phone after a few seconds. But it is alleged the boy worked out a way of saving the images and shared them around school when his victims refused to give in to demands for more provocative images.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police confirmed an investigation was under way and that a teenage boy had been released on bail until the summer.
School principal Stephen Henry said the academy was committed to safeguarding and children’s welfare and “has adhered to and implemented its safeguarding policy and procedures”.
The mother of one of the girls involved said she had been devastated by the alleged incident and warned other parents to be on their guard against the dangers of the internet.
She said her daughter’s school had offered support, adding: “She’s in the middle of exams and this has been disrupted.
“It was a stupid for her to (send the photos), don’t get me wrong, but what’s worrying is these teenagers don’t get the severity of what the internet can do.
“People, like me, give our kids mobile phones and don’t have a clue what they are doing on the internet.
“I didn’t for one second think my daughter would do something like this.
“She is quiet, shy, doesn’t go out but we have no idea of what life our children are living through their mobiles.
“It is really frightening. I got her to delete all the apps but even if I take the mobile off her she can use her friend’s.”
The worried mum added: “Parents need to be aware of what their kids are accessing. There should be tighter rules. The internet is so big you can’t physically police it.”