It seems Houston, Texas schools wanted to make sure their students had heard of “sexting” by banning it.
For those who haven’t heard the word endless brandied about it, “sexting” is the slang term for texting sexually suggestive text or pictures to someone else via mobile phone. It has led to some embarrassing moments for students, and it has become a favorite past time of teachers involved in sex scandals.
According to Breitbart, the Houston, Texas school district, which has over 200,000 students, and is one of the largest districts in the country, was so worried about it that it opted to ban it before the new school year began. “Some principals raised the issue, so we included a provision saying sending, receiving, possessing sexually suggestive messages is forbidden,” Hans Graff, assistant general counsel at the Houston Independent School district, told Breitbart.
See, while this may seem like a way to protect the kids, all they have done is to now make it “cool”. Any time any authority figures bans something, kids there were never aware of it are now acutely aware of it, and those kids who already knew about it, but had the resisted the urge, will now want to give it a go. What a way to show “the man” that the kids know better!
This also crosses some lines for me on privacy issues as this rule extends in to the children’s private lives, which their phones are unquestionably part of. This is like schools that have tried telling kids what they can and cannot blog about. If it happens off of school grounds, then the school should have no say in it. Yes, if the phones are brought on to school grounds with the photos, or the photos are taken on school district property, then, yes, they have every right to comment on it. However, Mr. Graff’s description sure makes it sound like the school district will have a say no matter where it happens.
So, kudos to the Houston school district for making this “cool”, and also for possibly tying up a court room as someone tries to sort this whole thing out after the first kid gets punished for it. Personally I find sexting disturbing, but there is a point where school districts really should just keep their collective mouth shut.