First-Graders Included on Sexting Talk?

Valparaiso to launch an education campaign about 'sexting' in the fall

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    BERLIN - SEPTEMBER 18: Fourth-grade students read books in the elementary school at the John F. Kennedy Schule dual-language public school on September 18, 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The German government will host a summit on education in Germany scheduled for mid-October in Dresden. Germany has consistantly fallen behind in recent years in comparison to other European countries in the Pisa education surveys, and Education Minister Annette Schavan is pushing for an 8 percent increase in the national educaiton budget for 2009. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

    Indiana schools are cracking down on "sexting" with reckless abandon.

    This Fall, students at a group of schools that includes elementary students in Valparaiso, Indiana will be treated to a treatise on the dangers of sexting. The students will be introduced to the new handbook policy even though some of the students are barely out of diapers.

    The new rule prohibits the transmission via personal communication devices of images “reasonably interpreted as indecent or sexually suggestive,” according to the Northwest Indiana Times.

    In January, two Benjamin Franklin Middle School students in Valparaiso, Indiana were charged with sending each other nude pictures via their cell phones.

    In response to this incident the school board in Indiana  wants to send a clear message to students, so they added a sexting prohibition in the student handbook that would apply to all elementary, middle and high school students. 

    “Even though students may think the images they send or receive are innocent and just for fun, they could be in violation of child pornography laws and face conviction as a sex offender”, said Benjamin Franklin Principal Christopher Fields to the Northwest Indiana Times.

    Sexting has become a major concern for educators, but exposing . 

    By law a school must refer all sexting cases to law enforcement and child protection agencies.

    In order to show students the seriousness of this offense and prevent future violations, all city schools deliver ongoing education about the dangers of sexting through differnet presentations and classes.

    The explanation of the new handbook policy will be read and explained to students in the fall, but educators hope the awareness starts at home.

    “Encouraging parents to talk about (it) and expect responsible cell phone use by their kids,” said Fields.