Sexting isn't just harmless fun

Last year, NSPCC reports found that the rate at which teenagers are being pressured to text and email sexually explicit pictures of themselves has accelerated in the last few years. These demands were also found to have come from peers rather than from adults or strangers.

A survey carried out by the US organisation, The National Campaign, found that:
• 20% of teenagers have sent nude or semi-nude pictures/videos of themselves.
• 39% of teenagers have sent sexually suggestive messages.
Teenagers send the majority of these sexts to boyfriends, girlfriends or other people they knew. However, 15% of teenagers who have sent nude/semi-nude images of themselves say they have done so to someone they only knew online.

Prior research has shown that many teenagers have sent sexual texts, emails, images and videos. However many have not learnt what the risks are, and what the law says about sexting.

When BBC Reporters asked Tarporley High School Students for their views on sexting, 15-year-old Lizzie said: ‘I don't think the dangers of sexting are clear enough to young people. I think lots of young people think it's just for fun and there's a really dangerous side to it.’

Many teenagers and adults may think sexting can be exciting and fun, but there are many possible consequences, such as sending the sexual messages/images to the wrong person, the person you sent them to may share them, or the images/messages may accidentally be discovered by others if phones were lost. Another key issue regarding teens and children sending sexts is that youngsters can be vulnerable to be pornography charges because, when the sender and/or receiver is underage it is considered child pornography, making it illegal.

Sexting cases are often in the news, including the recent case of three school students who recorded mobile phone videos of drunken sex acts with fellow teens; authorities said they then shared them among themselves. These teenagers face up to 20 years in prison with the charge of child pornography.

It’s vital that children and teenagers are taught about the dangers and consequences surrounding sexting in school and at home. They may see it as fun, but if any of their images/messages are found not only is it likely they will be embarrassed, but they could also face serious charges.

If you would like to share your teaching tips on tackling this with your students, please add your comments below.

Written by E-safety Support on July 05, 2013 13:57

The E-Safety Timebomb

On a day when the online dangers faced by young people are again at the forefront of the news, campaigners have been urging for detailed lessons on internet safety to be taught regularly in schools. This is because there have been increasing fears that children with access to the internet are being exposed to inappropriate sexual content.

3,745 counseling sessions were carried out by ChildLine last year; 250 of the calls were reports that children were being 'groomed' online. 641 calls were received about exposure to online pornography, with some callers as young as 11 years-old.

Claire Lilley, safer technology lead at the NSPCC said: ‘We are facing an e-safety timebomb.’

‘The internet and mobile phones are now part of young people's everyday lives. They are the first generation who have never known a world without them.’

The NSPCC says that schools need to step in as the issue is something that parents struggle to keep up with. They are also urging all internet service providers to provide easy systems to allow parents to install online blocks and filters in their homes (although here at E-safety Support, we also advocate self moderation through their own understanding rather than creating barriers).

Phil Bradley, of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, said: ‘When it comes to the internet... children need to learn how to use it safely and how to differentiate the good from the bad.’

And with so much bad at their fingertips, it’s never been more important to make sure pupils really understand the risks they are taking when they set up an online profile, or join a social media site. For many of these ‘digital natives’, the internet is as natural a part of life as sliced bread was to their parents! So it’s quite understandable that there is a need for knowledge across the generations. Naturally, school is the institution where this can begin, but everyone must take a role to keep the children protected, including the children themselves.

Written by E-safety Support on June 19, 2013 08:04

Should pupils have lessons about online dangers?

It was widely reported yesterday that the government have stated that the ‘draft curriculum for primary schools in England will, for the first time, include lessons on how to stay safe online.’ This announcement comes amid fresh concerns that explicit online materials are too easily accessible for young children.

Lucy Emmerson, co-ordinator of The Sex Education Forum, told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast that young people should become able to be critical consumers of media. They should learn what is appropriate and inappropriate for themselves and be very clear about what’s legal, illegal, violent and not violent. ‘Young people are quite confused about what consent is, and about what consent isn’t.’

In April, The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) passed a resolution that schools must give lessons on the dangers of pornography. And now, just weeks later, The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) found in a survey that 40% of parents think schools should teach pupils as young as five about the dangers of pornography on the internet.

The NAHT said the issue was troubling to teachers as they grapple with the impact of pornography on pupils' self-image and perceptions of sexuality. Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, stressed that: ‘young people need to know how to cope with and avoid the distorted views of relationships that are displayed in pornography.’

Ofsted have also decided that secondary school pupils need more education on the subjects of pornography, relationships, sexuality and staying safe. They suggested that many schools were failing to give pupils enough information regarding sex and relationships, which could leave children open to inappropriate behavior or exploitation.

This controversial topic is never far from the news and very often divides opinion of who should be responsible for the welfare of our children when they are online – is it the parents or schools who should take the lead? In our opinion, it’s both. But what we mustn’t forget is that e-safety is not just about stumbling across an inappropriate website or finding an unsuitable video on YouTube, it’s much more than that. Ultimately, we must teach our children how to act responsibly and safely online as we would in any other situation.

Written by E-safety Support on May 21, 2013 15:25


Join E-safety Support

  • Protect your pupils
  • Support your teachers
  • Deliver outstanding practice

Recent Stories
Story Tags
addiction anti_bullying_alliance anti-radicalisation apps ask.fm assembly avatars awards bett Breck_Foundation bug bullying BYOD calendar cber_bullying censorship ceop chatfoss checklist child child_exploitation childline childnet child_protection childwise christmas ClassDojo classroom competition cookies CPD creepshot CSE curriculum cyberbullying cyber_bullying cyber_crime cybersmile_foundation cybersurvey DCMS Demos development devices DfE digital_citizenship digital_footprint digital_forensics digital_leaders digital_literacy digital_native digital_reputation digital_wellbeing eCadets education e-learning emoticon e-safe esafety e-safety e-safety, e-safety_support #esscomp #esstips ethics exa exploitation extreemism extremism extremism, facebook fake_news fantastict fapchat FAPZ film filtering freemium friendly_wifi gaming #GetSafeOnline glossary GoBubble gogadgetfree google governor grooming #GSODay2016 guidance hacker hacking icon information innovation inspection instagram instragram internet internet_matters internet_of_things internet_safety into_film ipad iphone ipod irights IWF language leetspeak lesson like linkedin malware media mental_health mobile monitor monitoring naace navigation neknominate netiquette network news NHCAW nomophobia nspcc NWG ofcom offline ofsted omegle online online_safety oracle parents phishing phone Point2Protect policy pornography power_for_good pressure PREVENT primary privacy professional_development protection PSHE #pupilvoiceweek ratting rdi reporting research risk robots safeguarding safer_internet_day safety SCD2015 #SCD2016 school sdfsdf security self-harm selfie sexting sextortion ShareAware sid SID SID2016 SID2017 SID2018 smartphone snapchat snappening social_media social_media, social_networking staff staff_training #standuptobullying statutory_guidance Stop_CSE stop_cyberbullying_day stress students survey swgfl SWGfL tablet teach teachers technology texting tootoot training TrainingToolz troll trolling twitter UKCCIS uk_safer_internet_centre UK_youth unplug2015 virus webinar website we_protect what_is_e-safety wifi wi-fi windows wizard yik_yak young_people youthworks youtube YPSI yubo
Archive