BETSY LAYNE – The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department, along with the Floyd County Attorney’s Office, came together Friday to discuss the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of bad choices with the incoming freshman class of Betsy Layne High School.
Thanks to social media and the invention of the camera phone, along with the popularity of taking selfies, teenage sexting has become more and more serious. The problem with sexting is teenagers do not understand the serious ramifications it can have.
Sexting is when sexually explicit photos are sent to other people’s cell phones. Sexting is not limited to pictures. Sexual explicit messages are also common with teenage sexting. The problem with teen sexting is that they do not know where the texts will eventually end up.
Sheriff John Hunt and Meka Hall Castle from the Floyd County Attorney’s Office discussed with teens the consequences of bad choices and how what some may consider a funny image or message sent to peers could land a student over the age of 18 in jail charged with a felony.
In a recent survey conducted by La Trobe University, over half (57 percent) of teens surveyed reported they had been asked to send a sext. The same survey revealed 80 percent of the teens who admitted to sexting were under the age of 18 and 11 percent of those surveyed admitted they had sent pictures to strangers. The survey said 40 percent of teenagers who have sexted did it as a joke.
The administration and faculty at Betsy Layne High School have taken a proactive stance by teaching students that actions have consequences. Social media and the internet allow teens to be exposed to individuals and strangers without even leaving the comfort of their bedroom. It is up to the adults in the lives of teens to teach them about the importance of making good decisions and the consequences of bad choices.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for The Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 886-8506.