A HAMPSHIRE headteacher is calling for more legislation and action to protect young people on social media.

The calls from Julie Turvey, executive headteacher at Hounsdown School in Totton, come after former Hounsdown pupil Megan Hinton told how a nude picture of herself appeared on social media when she was 14 years old.

As previously reported, the now-19-year-old from Marchwood has backed a campaign led by Hampshire police to raise awareness of the risks of sending explicit pictures on social media.

She previously told the Daily Echo how she felt under pressure and thought she would be bullied if she had not sent the photo of her to a boy.

Her photo was published on social media and shared around the entire school and beyond.

Now her former headteacher said it is responsibility of the government and social media firms to come up with plans which will protect youngsters.

“Schools are doing everything they can. It is down to the government to look at how they are keeping young people safe. There has to be some responsibility now by social media companies to look at how they can prevent young people from using social media inappropriately,” Mrs Turvey said.

She is calling for social media companies to have some form of filters to stop explicit pictures from being shared or published.

She said Hounsdown School was aware of the issue and had been working with the police and parents to educate children and warn them of the risks of social media.

“The difficulty with young people is they want to be accepted, and they make the wrong choices sometimes,”she added.

Mrs Turvey also said the police should take action against those responsible.

As previously reported, PC Maria Carrick of Hampshire police said the force did not seek to criminalise young people.

“Working with people like Megan enables us to raise awareness. Our priority is to safeguard and protect the young people involved, victims and perpetrators and look into how this has happened and into how we can minimise harm to the people involved,” she said.

This month the government is set to publish a white paper setting out new demands for social media companies to protect young people.

This comes after concerns about social media content were raised following the death of a teenager.

Ministers are now set to launch a crackdown on social media firms, promising a raft of measures aimed a curbing online threats to young people.

Social media companies could also be forced by law to remove illegal content and sign a code of conduct protecting vulnerable users.