A series of recent research studies reveals the true scale of sexting in schools today:
• An NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) study asserts that 40% of young people have been involved in sexting, with young girls in particular feeling pressured to post sexually-explicit images online.
• The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that 88 per cent of self-generated, sexually explicit online content of young people had been taken from its original location and uploaded onto other websites.
• Beatbullying, the children’s charity, has statistics to indicate that 38 per cent of young people have received a sexually explicit text or email, while 25 per cent have received a sexual image they found offensive.
At first glance this might seem like an unstoppable tide of ‘sexting’ amongst children but there are simple, practical steps that schools can take.
Securus Software, an Image Analyser partner that provides online safety systems to over 3,200 schools, has worked with the Lucy Faithfull child protection charity to produce a resource pack for educators on sexting. The resource pack – Sexting in schools: advice and support around self-generated images – includes practical advice on how to identify and deal with sexting incidents in the classroom.
News coverage and opinion of the sexting research