WITF’s Smart Talk will delve into the topic of “sexting”, teenagers sending nude photographs or videos of themselves or other students on their cell phones. Although this phenomenon has been occurring for some time now, recent proposed legislation and continued incidences in local schools has renewed the public’s interest. Senator Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County, is proposing legislation that would identify a specific criminal offense for “sexting” by anyone under the age of 18. Currently, teens accused of sexting have faced a range of charges from disorderly conduct to child pornography. In fact, seven Susquenita High School students involved in sending pornographic images and videos of themselves or other students in October, now face felony charges related to child pornography."> WITF’s Smart Talk will delve into the topic of “sexting”, teenagers sending nude photographs or videos of themselves or other students on their cell phones. Although this phenomenon has been occurring for some time now, recent proposed legislation and continued incidences in local schools has renewed the public’s interest. Senator Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County, is proposing legislation that would identify a specific criminal offense for “sexting” by anyone under the age of 18. Currently, teens accused of sexting have faced a range of charges from disorderly conduct to child pornography. In fact, seven Susquenita High School students involved in sending pornographic images and videos of themselves or other students in October, now face felony charges related to child pornography."> WITF’s Smart Talk will delve into the topic of “sexting”, teenagers sending nude photographs or videos of themselves or other students on their cell phones. Although this phenomenon has been occurring for some time now, recent proposed legislation and continued incidences in local schools has renewed the public’s interest. Senator Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery County, is proposing legislation that would identify a specific criminal offense for “sexting” by anyone under the age of 18. Currently, teens accused of sexting have faced a range of charges from disorderly conduct to child pornography. In fact, seven Susquenita High School students involved in sending pornographic images and videos of themselves or other students in October, now face felony charges related to child pornography."> "Sexting' Is On The Rise | Education | witf.org
Education

"Sexting' Is On The Rise

Written by Debbie Riek, Education Coordinator | Nov 4, 2009 4:20 PM

The recommendation is to allow offenders to be eligible for a diversionary program which could include an educational component, community service, counseling and possibly probation. The opinions on what the appropriate consequences should be and who is to blame for this new form of rebellion are varied and adamant. Just look at the comments posted on PennLive.com in reaction to their sexting article on October 2nd. Comments range from holding the parents accountable to blaming the cell phone carriers.

Regardless of who is to blame and what the consequences should be for the students, the reality is that the 24/7 access to technology is taking it’s toll on youth. It is here to stay and the benefits usually far outweigh the pitfalls, but attention must be paid to the education of our children on appropriate use of technology.

The Susan P. Byrnes Health Education Center has an educational tool on Learntobehealthy.org that addresses the fast-paced lives of today’s teens. Teens today are inundated with technology. Between texting, emailing, blogging and chatting, there is barely a moment to themselves. When life never slows down, it is difficult to maintain good mental and physical health. The center has added a mental health curriculum for grades 10-12 called Face the Music. It explores topics such as stress management, cyber-bullying, maintaining healthy relationships and staying safe online.

This kit is a relevant way to inform teens of the dangers of posting personal information and photos online and the activities will engage students through familiar technologies such as an iPod, laptop, and cell phone. The materials and lessons included in the kit are aligned with the Pennsylvania and national Health Education Standards. For more details, including lesson plans, visit LearntobeHealthy.org.

As a parent of two teenagers who both carry cell phones, I strongly urge parents to talk about sexting with their children. It may be an uncomfortable conversation, but if children don’t know where you stand on the issue, they are more likely to fall into the trap of engaging in the activity. The reality is, many teens do not fully grasp the consequences of the behavior. They know it is something that will get them in trouble, but have little idea how much trouble. So parents, talk with your teens!

Related articles:

Sexting 101

Senate panel looks to establish common sense punishment for sexting

Published in Education

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