What Should Schools Do When Students Engage in Sexting?
In the K-12 setting it is usually not appropriate to suspend, expel or arrest the student… or do nothing.
With more and more kids owning smart phones, computers and tablets, the potential for them to engage in sexting has increased. Taking and sending inappropriate photos of children or of children involved in sexual activity is illegal. Additionally, it can cause grave emotional consequences for victims.
According to Naperville, Ill., PD detective Richard J. Wistocki, when most K-12 teachers and administrators discover their students are engaging in sexting, they either do nothing, telling the children to delete the photos; suspend or expel the students; or they have them arrested.
None of these approaches, however, are appropriate for most minors, says Wistocki, who is also president of BeSure Consulting Technology Safety Education and president of Juvenile Justice Online Diversion Program. Restorative justice, he says, is the best way for schools and parents to address sexting.
In his interview with Campus Safety magazine at NASRO’s 26th annual conference held in Anaheim, Calif., July 10-15, Wistocki discusses the benefits of restorative justice and how it can be implemented effectively.