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School District Aims to Put an End to 'Sexting'

But some wonder if this well intentioned policy might be overreaching.

By Jeremy Greenberg Aug 7, 2012 2:18PM

Photo: Peter Glass/Getty ImagesIf you’re a student in Troy, Michigan, you’ve officially been warned that your school district will not tolerate 'sexting', the transfer of any sexually explicit material via a mobile phone from one student to another, according to The Washington Post. School officials have been given the green light to confiscate a student’s phone if there is any complaint that student has been sexting—no matter if it happened on or off campus. Offender’s phone will be turned over to local prosecutors.

It’s part of a recent ban enforced by the Troy Board of Education.

Of course, no adult thinks it’s acceptable for teenagers to waste their data plans sending each other dirty photos. But some question if this policy is also a bit lewd in its criminalization of an action which is really nothing more than a physical expression of poor teenage decision making.

Michael J. Steinberg, legal director for the ACLU Michigan, was quoted in the Post story:

“Usually, this is kids being irresponsible and careless and certainly not criminals, and they shouldn’t be treated that way.”

There is also a differing of opinion regarding how big of a problem sexting actually is among teens. Some studies, such as one conducted in 2011 by the Pew Research Center reports that 4 percent of teenagers had sent naked images of themselves, and that 15 percent had received them. However, a Journal Pediatrics study reduces the percentage of teens that have texted sexual photos to 1 percent.

Regardless of how much texting is going on in Troy, Michigan, this policy will probably end up reflecting positively on the school district. Kids need to be sent the message that their naked bodies should not end up as someone else’s desktop wallpaper. However, the teenage libido has been causing trouble since the beginning of time. Let’s hope the authorities also remember that it’s not a crime to be young and hormonally compromised.

Photo: Peter Glass/Getty Images

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Sep 19, 2013 5:31PM


    More information School officials have great authority and responsibility to act their standard (unlike police) is reasonable belief that a student is doing something harmful, like a federal felony and they are required to act by state law. Same parents screaming about violating their rights would be screaming if and when harmful acts occur, like teen suicide because pictures went  onto internet. Sexting is not innocent and IS A CRIME!!!

Sep 19, 2013 5:25PM


Very good post by the young lady about criminality. Do any of you realize that a conviction for "child porn" requires sex registry for life? This is not a childish prank but a serious Federal crime, please educate your children.

Sep 17, 2013 10:35PM
Lol woooow.
Since when do teenagers have time for this stuff? All of the little good children will be so wrapped up in school work that they won't have time to sleep, let alone pull this crap. The bad kids that do, well, now we'll have their information so when they commit crimes again they can be easily found.

Sep 13, 2013 8:46PM
what kids do off school property is none of the schools business completely agree with taking the phones away in school but they shouldn't be able to do anything to the kid after school hours
Aug 8, 2013 9:02PM
Surprised the ACLU is not making a first amendment issue of the over reach by the school "system" Can't wait to see where this goes!
Jun 5, 2013 11:28PM
In what way is this not a constitutional violation of these kids rights if anything the A.C.L.U. should step in and stop this from happening. There is no way that any government agency should be allowed to violate the right of privacy of any citizen without due process being involved i.e. search warrants some kind of review process. Look it is stupid for kids to do this stuff but they are kids and are going to do stupid stuff. That still does not grant the school district the right to violate these kids rights by seizing private property without merits based only on rumors. Any parent should be upset by this the school district should contact them and let them handle it. It is the parents responsibility to decide how to handle this with their child not some overly controlling Orwellian school board.
May 8, 2013 6:45PM

Poor parenting, that is all I can say, if anyone were to be responsible it should be the parents.


Mar 19, 2013 5:17PM
Authorized by whom? to confiscate what? off school property?  Typical dynasty building school "system"
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