Sexting, or Child Porn?
Some days, I have my classes listen to the 5-minute NPR news podcast, updated hourly, and we discuss current events. One of this weeks stories is about a law passed in England making so-called “revenge porn” illegal. This BBC article explains that this covers, “Photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public.” Basically, if an ex-boyfriend shares a nude photo on Facebook that a girl sent with “intent to harm” her reputation, he can be prosecuted. I’m not sure how they’ll begin to enforce such a law, but it led to an interesting discussion in my freshman history class.
As a teacher in a high school, we unfortunately have issues of this all the time. Girls take topless photos to text to their boyfriends; occasionally, the image makes the rounds of his friends’ phones and ends up on Twitter or Facebook. Kids end up suspended, hurt, and humiliated. One student mused that, at the high school level, “revenge porn” could also be classified as child pornography (it is not uncommon for kids to get pornography charges for sexting).
I exhorted my students to never take naked pictures of themselves; nothing on the internet ever really goes away. I was pleasantly relieved to have many of my freshmen look quizzically at me and ask why on earth anyone would ever take a naked picture of themselves. One sweet little girl in the front row sighed sagely and said, “You should never do that; high school love never lasts.” Wise beyond her 14 years.
Love IS in the air
In honor of Valentine’s Day, an unwrapped condom was found in the potted plant in the back of the school library yesterday. Classy.