The Silent Dangers of Sexting

Maria Modica, Staff Writer

The not so silent consequences of a silent issue: Sexting.

News channels around the country have acknowledged many incidents that stressed the importance regarding the dangers of sexting. However, most students still don’t know the seriousness of these issues. This new generation, specifically high school students, seem to have more problems than any other generation with the prominent use of technology.

Sexting has become a new “trend” among high school teens.  According to the Clark County School District, sexting is considered to be “any messaging that is vulgar, suggestive or inappropriate.”  Examples of sexting would be showing sexual intentions by pictures or text.

Over the past few years, it seems as though sexting has gained more attention than in the past, and according to ABC News, “Teens are now taking this to extreme levels, and the number of kids with cell phones has increased more than 68 percent over the past year; yet, most students use this kind of technology in the wrong ways.

CNN sources said that in 2009, an eighth grader named Hope Witsell sent a revealing picture of herself to a boy that she liked. He then decided to send the picture to a friend, and soon the picture spread to almost six other schools. Many of her friends and people that she didn’t even know started bullying her by calling her names through Facebook and Myspace. Later, Hope couldn’t handle it anymore and committed suicide.

All this occurred just because of a picture. There are more cases like this, and that is exactly why sexting has become a major issue. It has become such a serious issue that in some states, including Nevada, state legislatures have passed new laws that can subject to punishment because of sexting. This includes charges in child pornography and even jail.

Sexting may seem innocent, flirtacious, or harmless, but “Sexting is a threat for the well–being of a person, whether it’s physically, mentally, morally or psychologically .  If people share [the text] it can be considered bullying, and some ‘intimate secrets’ that are revealed can be considered as sexting,” said Dean Shirley Jimenez.

For some students, understanding the consequences is not that important until it happens to them . CNN stated that 39 percent of teenagers still continue to sext. However, a student who gets caught in class texting, and a teacher confiscates the phone, according to the guidelines and regulations [5144], administrators have full rights to search through a phone without a student’s permission, and if the situation escalates, even the police can become involved in further investigation.

In the end, if you are ever a victim of sexting, Mrs. Jimenez provided some helpful tips: “Never answer back, ask your parents or school for help, and print out e-mails, pictures, and numbers for evidence.” But most importantly, think before you sext; because every decision has its consequence.