The results of a survey published in Principal Leadership indicated that 20% of adolescents ages 13-19 have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves online or through a text message on their phone. Messages can spread at a rapid rate, causing both legal and emotional ramifications for all students involved. This communication from the principal is an attempt to help prevent sexting and mitigate its negative consequences.
An adolescent who participates in sexting can face legal consequences. Sexting is illegal in most states. In Colorado, felony charges may result in the sending, receiving, and forwarding of these messages. Just being a part of an investigation can disrupt a person’s life as phones or other personal devices may be confiscated.
Most cases involving sexting are handled through law enforcement. We cooperate with law enforcement officials during their legal investigations. It becomes a school disciplinary issue when it is disruptive to the school culture.
In addition to legal issues, subjects of messages can suffer psychological and social consequences. Emotional distress, bullying, alienation, loss of privacy, social rejection, and depression are examples. Cruelty and humiliation toward victims and perpetrators may result when explicit images are circulated.
We take pride in the culture of EHS and want our students to feel that they are safe physically, mentally, and emotionally. We hope to extend this same feeling of safety outside of the building.
Please help our students set reasonable personal boundaries and understand that in healthy relationships personal decisions are respected. Parent conversations and monitoring of behavior are important to prevention. We appreciate your support and hope to minimize future incidents.