Administrators Confront Student 'Sexting'
Schools Urged to Develop Policies and Programs to Curb the Practice
Cellphone-savvy students have created instructional and disciplinary challenges for educators for years. But the recent emergence of “sexting” by adolescents over their mobile phones caught many school administrators off guard, and the practice is prompting efforts around the country to craft policy responses.
Students’ sharing of nude or otherwise sexually provocative photos of themselves or classmates via messages over digital devices might be dismissed as just the latest fad in out-of-school adolescent expression—or be deemed the criminal distribution of child pornography. And the attitudes among principals, superintendents, and school boards have ranged from inattention to overreaction, education and child-safety experts say.
As sexting has grabbed public attention, and teenagers and educators have gotten caught up in the legal and other consequences of the practice, school officials have been urged to respond with more precise rules around cellphone use. They’ve also been encouraged to provide information to students, teachers, and parents about the dangers of sexting, including the permanent...
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