Houston schools ‘just say no’ to sexting

The Houston Independent School District, one of the US’s biggest school districts, decided to adopt a new no-sexting rule “before some 200,000 students returned to classes after their summer vacation,” Agence France Presse reports. Sharing nude photos by phone hasn’t been much of an issue in the district, but some principals brought it up over the summer as an issue in the news and “wanted a policy on the books just in case it happens,” the Dallas Morning News reports. The Mesquite, Texas, district joined Houston, but other districts, such as Dallas and Garland, felt their policies – against “sending, sharing, viewing or possessing pictures, text messages, e-mails or other material of a sexual nature in electronic or against distribution of obscene material via any electronic device” – about covered the issue. I’d say so. But I hope any sexting incidents are handled as “teachable moments” and not just further opportunity to suspend or expel students. Meanwhile, Forbes reports that New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a law against charging minors under the state’s child pornography law for sexting when it’s “part of a romantic partnerships.” The discussion follows next-door neighbor Vermont’s new law decriminalizing sexting by minors (see this).

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