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.

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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