Think the big "no sexting" talk is going to protect your kids? Hold that thought. A set of parents in Oklahoma is in the midst of a battle with their local school district after photos of their 16-year-old daughter in her underwear hit the Internet.
Only the girl (whose name is being kept under wraps to protect her identity) didn't take the photos. She didn't even pose for them. In fact, the lawsuit alleges the teenage basketball player was held down in the locker room after a game. Someone snapped the photos, popped them up on Twitter, and the girl was cyberbullied for weeks.
Now before you roll your eyes and say "yeah, this was just this one group of bad eggs," let me lay this one on you: this is a growing trend. A few years ago, my friend's daughter was the teen who was snapped in states of undress in the locker room. Fortunately for her, another student saw it go down, and the kid who took the photo deleted it over fear of being turned in to the principal.
No amount of "don't sext" talks is going to keep girls like these safe.
The sad fact is, the access to a gazillion gadgets with camera capabilities has made it harder for even the good kids to keep their naked images off of the web. They're getting their photos taken while they're passed out asleep during sleepovers, while they're changing for gym class ...
What we need to talk to our kids about is what it means to take naked photos. Period. Be it photos of themselves or photos of someone else, it's serious, sometimes illegal, business. We can't keep our kids from the prying eyes of someone with a camera, so we have to tackle it from the other side. The more responsible camera users, the better.
Have you talked to your kids about responsible picture taking?
Image via Jason Pratt/Flickr