Schools must fight sexting

Austin Hille, Editor In Chief

The action of sending naked pictures of someone from one phone to another is a national issue that has even breached the borders of Cal High.

Although most schools have taken precautions to stop this trend, they haven’t done enough. The psychological effects that sexting have on students deserve more attention.

The message that it is currently being sent to students is that sexting is bad if they get caught, not that sexting is bad in general.

According to 2008 survey conducted by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 39 percent of all teens have sent  sexts and 48 percent have received them.

To a certain extent, most people know the magnitude of this problem, but sadly, it is a matter that commonly gets placed on the back burner.

If most people were to know what kind of harmful effects sexting has on any given individual student, or the student body as a whole, they would double their efforts to put an end to this unsafe activity.

Perhaps the largest, most detrimental effect of sexting is the one that is not seen.

As stated by martyrduren.com, a website devoted to teen issues, sexting has caused students to have an alarming mind-set toward the opposite sex, or anything of a sexual nature. Teens who engage in sexting view sex like a game or something animalistic.

Sexting has caused male students to no longer pursue young ladies because they think they’re  nice girls, but rather for sexual pleasure only.

Some students even regarded sexting as, “the new flirting.”  This approach that sexting encourages is unhealthy for students.

Sexting has many immediate consequences that do not take an expert to identify.  The first of these  consequences are bullying and social isolation.

Sexting has a wildfire-like tendency to spread rapidly. When one picture gets sent out, in minutes it can be plastered on many different social networking sites and can be found on hundreds of students’ phones.

Once photos are distributed, there is no possible way to reel them back in. They are forever embedded on the Internet and in the minds of students.

Sexting can change the reputation of any student very quickly, and create a great deal of bullying directed at the student.

Although this may sound like something that occurs everyday on the elementary school playground, this type of bullying has a much more widespread effect than expected.

Because of sexting, many cases of severe depression have been recorded. This depression has shown to often lead into self harm and has also branched out all the way to suicide.

As recently covered on “The Today Show,” Jessica Logan, an 18-year-old girl from Ohio, hung herself in her bedroom after naked pictures of her were sent around her school and she was constantly harassed in the hallways.

The death of this innocent teenage girl could have easily been avoided if sexting were actively pursued and stopped.

Although many schools including Cal, have taken steps to eliminate this activity, none have truly made the necessary steps to halt this terrible problem.

Even though there are many serious consequences in line for anybody who participates in sexting, most students still feel it is socially acceptable. This idea needs to be addressed immediately before the unseen effects of sexting become too prevalent.