New bill could add ‘sexting’ to sex ed classes in Illinois

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ILLINOIS (CNN) – Lawmakers in Illinois are proposing a bill that calls for schools to add ‘sexting’ to their sex education classes.

The proposal would affect students from grades sixth through twelfth.

“I think schools make a bad decision if they don’t teach social media etiquette on using their phones and social media,” Julia Johnson, a parent, said. “They need to do that. It’s such a big part of the student’s lives now.”

Johnson thinks it’s important that teens know the consequences of sending these kinds of messages.

“If you scare them when you talk about the dangers of sexting, maybe that’s enough to keep them from doing it,” Johnson said.

According to a study in the American Medical Association, 15% of teenagers say they’ve sent a sexual text. Nearly 30% say they’ve received one.

Dr. Bill Moredock, principal of Little Flower School, says his school has been teaching this for years.

“What’s posted online can stay there forever,” he said. “That’s part of the educating kids in 6th, 7th grade and high school. Once it’s there, there’s no erasing it.”

Moredock says sometimes children can get pictures without even meaning to.

“Adults are getting kind of savvy about how they sometimes prey on kids in terms of setting up these what look to be child-friendly, innocuous apps, but what they do they’re sly and they send in these messages that just come in out of nowhere.”