Sexting is defined as “images or videos generated by children under the age of 18 or of children under the age of 18 that are of a sexual nature of are indecent.”
The UK Council for Child Internet Safety produced a document in 2016 outlining how to educate young people of the dangers of sexting, handling incidents as parents and teachers and how it is viewed by the law. The full document can be accessed by clicking on the caption of the screenshot below.
From reading the document, it is of my understanding that in the case of a sexting incident occurring, the following steps/course of action are advised to be taken:
- The student may disclose the sexting incident to you and if that is the case, the safeguarding policies and procedures must be followed.
- Support the pupil whilst detecting the location of the image.
- Confiscate and secure the mobile device, especially if it has been shared.
- Block the network if the image has been shared across a network.
- Make sure the safeguarding policy is still being adhered to but ensuring the safeguarding officer is dealing with the incident and appropriate members of staff have been informed.
- Decide on the course of action and response to the incident.
- If the incident is high risk, external agencies may need to be contacted.
PlanetNutshell have also made a video that can be shown to children to warn them about the dangers of sexting.
Say “No” to Sexting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMFD5HuQDcU
If a sexting incident was to occur or be disclosed to be, I feel confident and knowledgeable to deal with and respond to it. It can be a sensitive and difficult situation for all those involved so it is necessary for it to be dealt with correctly and promptly. It is of upmost important that the student is well supported during and after the incident and all procedures and policies are adhered to.