If youths sometimes have difficulty understanding that their actions can have serious repercussions, a recent incident should have hit home.
On Wednesday, Batavia School District 101 Superintendent Lisa Hichens and Batavia Police Detective Kevin Bretz stood in front of reporters, photographers and TV cameras, addressing a case of sexting that had been reported, involving students from Rotolo Middle School in Batavia.
Later in the week, it was reported that a similar situation in Barrington led to middle school students there facing child pornography charges. While there has been no indication that Rotolo students would face such charges, there could be criminal ramifications for what they reportedly did.
It can seem difficult for parents to drive home the dangers that exist. Their children must understand the great responsibility they have when they use devices that allow them to share photos, videos and texts with many others.
Since youths might not comprehend how significant the results of their actions can be, parents have a level of responsibility to be involved, regardless of how much their kids push for privacy. In the wrong hands, such photos could lead to great danger. There are those who might do harm to youths, or the photos could be plastered across the Internet, tarnishing reputations.
Some school districts have offered opportunities for parents and students to learn more about the subject, and families should embrace that. It’s important to address how such incidents can be avoided and how they can be addressed if they do happen.
Parents cannot afford to wait until their children reach high school to deal with these potential dangers. These are middle school students. If youths of any age have such devices, then they potentially have the ability to misuse them, whether intentionally or by being careless.