Schools Ban Teen "Sexting"

One of the worst ways for adolescents to get attention

By Holly LaFon
|  Monday, Aug 24, 2009  |  Updated 1:45 PM CDT
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Schools Ban Teen "Sexting"

One-in-five teens admits to sexting.

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Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens may be doing it, but most school districts in Dallas-Fort Worth are banning it entirely.

"Sexting" (sending sexually explicit images via cell phone) has gotten so bad that Mesquite Independent School District had to add a section to its Student Code of Conduct this summer: "Sending, sharing, viewing or possessing pictures, text messages, e-mails or other material of a sexual nature in electronic or any other form on a cellphone or other electronic device is prohibited."

Houston ISD also banned the practice as of July.

Other area school districts, such as Garland and Dallas, haven't seen as much of a problem with it, but that is because they have prohibited cell phones entirely during school hours.

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20 percent of teens had either sent or posted nude pictures of themselves. Consequences resulting from sexting have included criminal charges and in some cases suicide for those who have been humiliated by the spread of the photos.

"It's phenomenally stupid to take a nude picture and send it to another person," said Dallas attorney Clint David. "The fact of the matter is, by the letter of the law, if the authorities chose to do so, they can find plenty of criminal offenses."

Holly LaFon has written and worked for various local publications including D Magazine and Examiner.

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