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Teach pupils how to resist ‘sexting’ craze, schools told

Published on November 28, 2013, by

The Times is  reporting that schools have been urged by the NSPCC to teach pupils about the risks of “sexting” as research suggests that a quarter of teenagers have shared explicit pictures of themselves via mobile phones…

A study found that teenagers disregarded the risks and felt under heavy pressure from boyfriends or other friends to “sext”.

The NSPCC responded by calling for teachers to begin discussing the dangers of sexting in primary school, saying that the practice was becoming “the norm” for many teenagers…

Researchers surveyed almost 500 secondary school pupils [in Belgium] aged between 15 and 18, of whom 26 per cent said they had engaged in sexting within the previous two months. Most had done so once or a few times but 5 per cent said they had done so several times.

The most common reason they gave was to attract attention, especially from someone they were attracted to. A smaller number saw sexting as an alternative to sex without risks such as catching a sexually transmitted infection…

Claire Lilley, head of child safety online at the NSPCC, said: “NSPCC research has shown that the sharing of explicit self-generated sexual imagery is becoming the norm for many teenagers and even some younger children.”

She added: “We need good quality, age-appropriate education in schools to help young people navigate their way through the pressures they face in today’s world and this needs to start in primary school.”

ChildLine has published advice for young people on how to respond to requests for naked pictures or “nudes”, including an app called Zipit that gives them access to responses such as “Do.Not.Want” and “Don’t be weird!”…

More at:  Teach pupils how to resist ‘sexting’ craze, schools told (subscription required) 

This is clearly a significant issue – should schools be doing more to help address it or is it essentially a parental responsibility? What do you think are the best ways schools can help? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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