Thursday, March 21, 2013

First government-supported “sexting” guidance published - 19 March 2013

“Sexting” ­ the worrying practice of sending explicit pictures or video footage via mobile phones and the internet is all too common among some teenagers. Academic research and staffroom anecdote both point to girls facing pressure to provide sexually explicit images of themselves for others to share online.

Teachers are no doubt horrified by the trend, and concerned about the children who find themselves part of these images. But how do you start to address such a sensitive issue in the right way? Help may be at hand in the form of first government-backed guidance for school staff.

It was developed by former police detective Sharon Girling, working with Medway Council, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, the Lucy Faithfull Foundation child protection charity, and sponsored by online software company Securus.

The document promises practical support, including how to respond, how to help children involved, how to prevent further incidents and advice on whether teachers can search phones and computers. Its publication was welcomed by Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, who said it would “help schools deal with this contemporary threat appropriately”.

“Sexting” in schools: advice and support around self-generated images: What to do and how to handle it can be downloaded here.

Kerra Maddern

Source: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6325267&s_cid=tesmagazinehome

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