A 12-year-old boy's mobile phone contained possible child pornography, Dallas police said.
The phone was confiscated while the boy was in class at Wallace Elementary School in Lake Highlands, police said.
The phone kept buzzing while the student was taking a test, investigators said. A teacher looked at the phone's text messages to see if the boy was cheating and found nude pictures of what appeared to be an underage girl, Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse said.
"First, we need to find out how old the person in the picture is, and second, did they know the pictures were being taken?" he said.
Investigators said the photos may have been "sexting," in which kids send naked pictures of themselves to their friends.
"Kids need to know that is a felony," said Toby Shook, a former Dallas County prosecutor.
Because laws have not caught up with technology, sexting is the equivalent of distributing child pornography in the eyes of the law, Shook said.
"The greater question is, should the law change in regard to juveniles? Is this really the intent of the Legislature?" he said. "I think not."
Now, police are trying to locate the girl, whose age needs to be verified before it can be determined if the image is child pornography.
It is not known yet what charges, if any, will be filed. But if the 12-year-old is convicted in a juvenile court on child pornography charges, he could be forced to register as a sex offender for up to 10 years.
The girl in photos could also be charged with distributing child pornography if police discover she took the photographs and texted them to the boy.
"Bottom line, there is nothing good about sexting," Janse said. "Nothing good comes of it, and there is nothing positive about it."
Police are questioning the 12-year-old boy and his 15-year-old brother, who also uses the phone.