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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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489Comments
Nov 21, 2012 8:10PM
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Cell phones are destroying productivity in school and work.
Nov 14, 2012 8:26PM
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This is stupid. for 3 reasons 1. The school is overstepping its authority by extending the ban to outside school grounds. 2. What is on someone elses cell phone is neither my nor your concern. 3. The whole cell phone at school debate was starting to get old when I was in high shool. Now it is ancient.
Nov 1, 2012 6:27PM
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Blame your state govt. They are the ones who relaxed the sex offender laws for sexting, and that's what's making it more prevalent.  Maybe if they realized the consequences would be having to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, they would think twice and not do it.
Oct 29, 2012 2:55AM
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60%+ of kids today are being raised by single parents, many of them borned of teen moms, who have no parental skill and lack education themselves: the "wild west" socially revisited, 21st century-version! Kids are raising themselves through electronic gadgets supported by the internet, that are their "sex-edu", self-learning/teaching tools, by trial and error....

Imagine growing up in such a confused environment, where every social and family issue has been turned into a political football, with new, unsettled definitions of a complexity beyond juvenile comprehension!

A ban on "Sexting"? Too late folks and unconstitutional! It's about parenting and discipline, and not government intervention!

Oct 29, 2012 2:20AM
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Politics is seldom about the issues; it's always about the power of control...fed by the control of power!
Oct 27, 2012 2:57AM
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Back when I was going to school, cell phones were considered a luxury; we survived quite well without them.  Middle-class kids were not seen with them.  Even the kids whose parents were doctors weren't seen with cell phones.  The district-wide policy back then was like this:  neither cell phones nor pagers were allowed to be in a student's possession unless the student was involved with disaster response coordination. 

So how did our parents get a hold of us kids at school whenever there was a sudden change of plans?  They'd call the damn school.  The secretary would write down the message, and someone would carry the note directly to the student.  Message received.   And how did we get a hold of our parents?  We would use the office phone.  Yes, the office phone.  And how in the world did parents coordinate transportation for kids' extra-curriculars?  They'd have that **** planned in advance, that's how.  If you are in your thirties or older then you would likely know what I speak of.

Kids will be kids and are prone to make bad choices because their brains haven't finished developing.  Human brains are fully developed at about age 25...or at least that's what I've been told.  The school district shouldn't pry their noses into things done outside of school or school-sanctioned activities.  Not only that, the school district shouldn't investigate sexts unless a student complains of harrassment (or continued unwanted sexual advances).

Texting, kids, and phones just don't mix well during class.  Texting today is what passing notes was back in my day.  Passing notes during class was never okay to do, and it's no different from texting if you think about it.  Phones need to stay powered off during school, bottom line.

What's that?  You need to get a hold of your child but you say you can't because the cell phone was confiscated some time ago.  Call the ****ing school, moron, and leave a message.  Damn, you are lucky you aren't living in the early 1900s with phones few and far in between.
Oct 21, 2012 5:59AM
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do not allow cell phones to be ON in school...yet some kids do need them for emergencies of a personal nature maybe...depending on exactly WHAT may be really going on at home...for their own safety...yet to be used responsibly outside the school building...and only after letting a teacher or faculty member know...the phone is needed for an emergency...and then be...supportive of the child's choice.
Oct 21, 2012 3:28AM
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I really like the idea if it is true,this is the discipline,successful and great USA i used to know...
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