BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Your teen could soon be learning about the dangers of sexting in the classroom. Sexting is a trend sweeping the nation and Illinois lawmakers want to put a stop to it.
Social media apps nowadays make it easier for teens to communicate, but as more of these apps surface, kids are doing more than sending innocent messages to their friends.
A bill proposed by Illinois lawmakers would increase the awareness of this issue for students in middle and high school.
“There’s so many outlets like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram,” said Jennifer Curtis of Bloomington. “I think they need to realize that once it is one place its everywhere.”
Curtis, like millions of parents, worries about what kids are sending in secret.
“When we are young we have all done something dumb, it happens to all of us,” said Brian Blommaert of Normal. “Except now you have created a permanent record and it takes a life of its own.”
A proposal in springfield would require students in middle and high school to learn about sexting dangers in sex-ed class. Dr. Diane Wolf, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum with District 87 in Bloomington, says kids today need to understand the risks of sexting.
“As we look at what is important for our students and what they are using, I think it is very important that this is part of our cirriculum.”
She says, while teachers work to teach kids how to be safe on social media, it’s also up to parents to have these conversations with their kids.
“We do believe that the number one teacher for any student is their parent, guardian. We want to make sure we are saying the same thing, which is sexting is not part of what we accept.”
At the end of the day Curtis hopes teens take this mesage to heart.
“Knowledge is power,” she said. “I think the more we make that a realization for them, then they will just have that backup to be more cautious of how they are using those technologies and things.”
A study in the American Medical Association found more than 1 in 4 teens has gotten a sexual text and 15% have sent one.