Students and Sexting: What Should Officials and Parents Do About It?


The Daily Herald published an interesting article Monday (June 9) on the issue of students and sexting.

The article reported that two Wheaton middle school students were charged with four counts of obscenity, three counts of harassment and one count of transmitting obscene messages following a May incident in which “created” and “not true images” involving staff members and students were distributed electronically.

The charges against the Edison Middle School students were filed in juvenile court and include four felonies, the Daily Herald reported.

The article says the Wheaton incident is one of four cases reported in the suburbs this past school year, including investigation of an April 7 incident on the Barrington Middle School-Station Campus in which two students were charged. The students are charged with sending inappropriate images of a classmate to a group of other classmates.

Two fifth-grade students and one fourth-grade student at Forest Glen School in Glen Ellyn were found to have been viewing pornographic materials from a mobile device described as a classroom computer. There is no word yet on what actions were taken by school administrators regarding the April 18 incident.

In Kane County, six or seven students at Rotolo Middle School in Batavia distributed nude pictures of themselves via electronic devices sometime prior to discovery on April 29, according to reports. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office chose not to prosecute.

“It was just very clear to us that this was more of a teaching opportunity,” McMahon told the Daily Herald. “We could accomplish the same goals through education as we could through juvenile proceedings.”

Understanding that each case is different and has to be weighed on its own merits, what do you think should be done about student sexting in school environments? Should students have access to mobile devices at school? Should school districts hold back on distributing electronic devices for use in the classrooms?

Who should be responsible for administering consequences for inappropriate use of electronic devices: parents, school officials or law enforcers?

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