Yesterday, we introduced sexting, which is the act of sending nude or partially nude photos via cell phone. Teens may not realize they could face child pornography or sex offender charges if they get caught sexting.
The Pender County Sheriff’s Office is currently dealing with several cases involving teenagers, and risqué photos they’ve sent through cell phones.
Julie Askew is the director of student services for Pender County schools. She said sexting is a fairly new issue, and not something school officials were familiar with.
But that’s changing, and quickly. “We have to make sure that we can infuse this understanding into our curriculum on a routine basis and communicate with kids on a daily basis that this kind of activity has the consequences that you cannot foresee,” Askew said.
Law enforcement officers are already taking steps to teach teens about the dangers of sexting.
“One thing we’re doing to try and prevent this is going into all middle schools and high schools, I personally attend them, and have a very adult conversation about choices and consequences and what the law is,” said DA Ben David.
David also encouraged parents to be proactive. “Young people know more about cell phones and computers than their parents but their parents know a lot more about life.”
Pat McCormick knows this all too well. She has a 12-year-old daughter. “It’s a fine line to walk between that privacy of your child and also protecting them which is your job as a parent.”
Ultimately, teaching teens about the severity of sexting is a collaborative effort.
A website parents can introduce to their kids is thatsnot cool.com.
The site deals with all kinds of harassment they might face, including sexting.
Thursday, Detective Scott Lawson of Pender County will join WWAY at the i-Desk to talk about some of the legalities surrounding sexting, and what parents can do to keep their kids safe.
If you have a question about sexting you would like Detective Lawson to address, e-mail Hailey Winslow at firstname.lastname@example.org.