Program Success Fall 2017 | Page 3

Parents Is Your Child Sexting and You ' re Paying the Bill ?

By William Jackson , M . Ed .
@ wmjackson # MyQuestToTeach
Parents expand the talk about bullying into the area of Sexting to make sure your child understands that Sexting is a form of digital porn . One in five tweens / teens / young adults maybe risking prison because of sending and receiving child pornography . This includes risking being labeled as a sex offender or sexual predator because of distributing nude or seminude pictures of themselves or others under the age of 18 .
Cell phone technology has contributed to the ability to send pictures and video that normally would not be accessible and sharable . Youth and teens have learned the empowerment and engagement of technology , applying it inappropriately because of immaturity ; the thrill of sexual activity and peer pressure .
Parents need to understand that teens with cell phones are not restricted from sending , receiving or further distribution of nude or seminude pictures on Social Media . If a youth willingly or unwillingly is photographed partially nude , seminude or totally nude that is under 18 and those pictures are distributed electronically it is against the law . Even though the circumstances may seem trivial the results can be devastating to a young person . Their reputation within school , community and even where they worship religiously is damaged and can even be destroyed .
This is a digital age of £ -reputations and £ -personalities that are important and need to be protected and managed . Surveys have shown that teenagers and young adults surveyed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage and Unplanned Pregnancy and CosmoGirl . com found that 25 percent of teenagers and 36 percent of young adults ages 20 to 26 said they had sent or posted nude or seminude photos of themselves .
This survey may seem hard to believe , the information holds true and seems to be growing because of the increase in cell phone use by tweens , teens and young adults is growing . The power of wireless echnology has increasingly caused problems for parents , schools and law enforcement because of the increased ability to send and receive information on multiple platforms and even in Apps .
Additional surveys have shown parents and guardians that tweens , teens and young adults should never be underestimated or perceived as naive or technology illiterate . Teens teach each other new tips and tricks , the latest skills , hacks , hints and codes that allow for more flexibility and manipulation of technology both legal and illegal .
Parents should be aware that their children and teens may have a sexual inquisitiveness , subjected to bad judgment , influenced by peer pressure and love of electronic sharing especially with pictures and video they take . When these elements are combined it can become dangerous combination of technology and raging hormones .
Parents should occasionally physically check phones for content , if a child refuses to give their phone when asked this is a red flag that something is not right and the parent should investigate further . Technology is a two edged sword , it can help with networking , research and empowering youth , teens and young adults with information , the Internet is a wide open portal to appropriate and inappropriate information parents must communicate with their children their expectations for behaviors on and off line . Parents have a responsibility and are accountable to manage what they allow their children access to and will be held accountable if necessary by law enforcement .
William Jackson Child Sexting Jacksonville , Florida December 2017