Lurid headlines paint a picture of a highly sexualised generation sharing nude or semi-naked images of themselves via their mobile phones.
And, as incidents often come to light when pupils share images at school its often teachers who have to deal with the situation. The UK Council for Child Internet Safety has published new guidelines for teachers on how to deal with sexting incidents here’s What parents need to know about them.
What is sexting? In the guidance, the term sexting is replaced with the term youth-produced sexual imagery. This refers to images and video footage that is either owned, shared or created by young people Image: Getty under the age of 18.
What can you do?
- Show your child this article. Then discuss with them that the law exists to protect them from unscrupulous or controlling adults, not to stop them having fun.
- Most young people know that nude images can be screen shot and shared, but they think it won’t happen to them because they trust the people they are sharing them with. Encourage them to question why people want these images, and think about what they would do if they fell into the wrong hands.
- Boost your child’s self-esteem so that they don’t need to seek the approval from others to feel good about their bodies or how attractive they are.
- If you discover a fellow pupil has shared a sexual image of your child, talk to the school’s safeguarding lead or a teacher you trust. They will refer the incident to the correct person and follow these guidelines for dealing with it. Then give your child a hug and let them know you still love them and will support them.
When to call the police If you find out an adult has shared a sexual image with your child, has shared one of your child, or asked them to send them one, you can report it to CEOP at www.ceop. police.uk/safety-centre
Source: Vodafone Digital Parenting