Be forewarned. Here is the latest news on sexting, a new and troubling phenomenon involving our youth.
What is sexting? A blend of the words sex and texting, this new use of technology is the act of sending sexually explicit photos or messages between mobile phones. Participants are kids from about twelve to seventeen. Some news reports label it an epidemic.
Sexting is found at public, Catholic and even private schools. It is usually an attempt by a girl to please her boyfriend intending it as something special between the couple. The problem is boyfriends often share these photos with high school buddies.
As we collected baseball or hockey cards, this generation trades risque pictures of school girls on their cell phones. Guys will trade as many as fifty such photos to get one of someone new to add to their collection.
Young people fail to understand the potential ramifications of this bad behaviour. Once you hit SEND there is no calling it back. That intimate photo is in cyberspace forever. The regret may not hit home until years later when potential employers become aware of past indiscretions. Universities may deny scholarships to anyone they discover connected with activity that carries disrepute.
Sexting may result in criminal charges if it involves under age youth. Charges can include the manufacture, distribution and/or possession of child pornography and can be applied to under age participants.
The seriousness of the problem becomes apparent when speaking with educators. They are trying to develop effective methods for dealing with and preventing something that is completely new to them. By request I have added sexting to my presentations.
As always, I will keep you informed on anything that impacts our young people. My commitment is to continue to speak about the issues that most affect their futures. I am working to develop materials for parents and teachers to help them understand and deal with sexting.
Your partnership with me is as important as ever, perhaps even more now as we address this new challenge. Nothing is achieved without the investment of time and the funds necessary to meet the need. I urge you to stand with Straight Talk with your financial backing. Please be the tipping point that helps create a tidal wave of healthy relationships.
Love and prayers
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Straight Talk, Box 60072, Oakville, ON.,
Straight Talk Charity # 89046-2799-RR0001