Jessica Logan was a beautiful, talented teen, living in Ohio. She had her whole life ahead of her, but the one thing that brought her down was one simple picture text message. Who would have ever thought that one image, meant for only her boyfriend at the time, would have such deadly ramifications. Jessica’s parents say she hanged herself in her room after a racy photo was leaked around her school, and she was harassed for months. Now, Jessica’s parents are stepping out, trying to launch a national campaign to educate parents and teens about the dangers of “sexting.” Sexting is when someone sends a sexual message and/or revealing photos to others. It some cases, it starts out by kids sending a picture message to a boyfriend or girlfriend, but what they don’t realize is that picture is usually passed on, rather quickly, from person to person – and it lingers forever.
The national campaign to prevent teen and unwanted pregnancy says, one in five teenage girls between 13-16 years old say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves. Results show 21% of teen girls and 18% of teen boys have sent images of themselves personally. So what can parents do? Get involved! The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy has several tips for you to help keep your teens savvy online.
- - Know who your teens are hanging out with on the phone, and on-line. Some parents want to know who their kids are with, and where they are going, approach computers and cell phones with the same attitude.
- Sitting down and talk to your teens about the future damaging effects of what a nude or semi-nude photo could do to them forever. It’s a conversation worth having.
- Never assume anything you send or post is private. Anything you post or send will never truly go away.
- Never give in to pressure to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, even online.
For more tips on how parents can protect their kids reputations, and for how teens can make wiser decisions, check out these tips at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/sextech/ And for more information on “sexting” and how to protect your teen, log onto: