This past Friday, an episode of Degrassi The next Generation aired an episode entitled “Shoot to Thrill”. This episode involved a girl named Ali and her boyfriend Johnny. Ali took some pictures of Johnny and a stuffed animal promising never to share them with anyone. As the episode went on, we saw how poorly Johnny treated Ali in their relationship. Instead of breaking up with him, she took it up a notch and decided to take nude pictures of herself and send them to Johnny on his cell phone. Needless to say, this went badly. Ali had posted one of the pictures of Johnny and the stuffed animal on the school wall which resulted in Johnny sending one of the sexting pictures to his friend Bruce. Mr. Simpson, one of the teachers had the displeasure of seeing the picture and sent Bruce and Ali to the office. The principal had a stern talk with Ali about the dangers of sexting and an organization called That’s Not Cool gave a psa on the dangers of sexting and is a great resource for anyone dealing with abuse through technology.

Sexting has recently become an issue amongst teens and even adults. Teens have been known to take these sexual photos and send to one another. What is troubling is that these texts find their way online by cyber bullies or other abusers in relationships. This occurs when there is a break-up or just as form of blackmail. The thing that is not considered is that once these photos are sent around, they are out there in cyber land for everyone to see. The chances of them disappearing are slim to none. Situations such as this can follow the teen into adulthood and cost them jobs and other problems along the line.

Folks, talk to your children about sexting and the dangers of it. This is also a form of cyber bullying as the photos get passed around to others and are done so in a cruel manner and as a way to hurt the target. This could also result in a criminal record as the ones doing the sending are passing around what appears to be child pornography. Anyone under age taking these photos and sharing them are only adding to the pornography problem, not helping it. Teens do not see these consequences like adults do so its important for them to know this before they attempt it. At the end of the day, we want our children safe. Sexting is the last way to do it.


Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Persepctive.  To learn more, visit Peer Abuse Know More!



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