Written by Phil Cerroni
The City of Irving Municipal Court welcomed court clerks from several North Texas cities last week for training that examined state laws pertaining to driver’s licenses, human trafficking, traffic safety, ‘sexting,’ bullying and online impersonation. Facilitating the training on sexting was Irving Municipal Court Judge Laura Anderson, who enlightened clerks on recent changes in legislation.
In Texas, the sexting statute was enacted to curb behaviors of minors under age 18 who engaged in the practice of sending sexually explicit images to one another electronically. Prior to new sexting legislation, minors engaged in sexting could be charged under felony child pornography laws. The sexting legislation was enacted to lessen the life-altering consequences of a felony, conviction, and to prevent sexting through education. Though Anderson’s talk with court clerks centered on changes in sexting legislation, she wants to carry her sexting education curriculum to the community.
“Although you can send an inappropriate image or text in an instant, the consequences can last a lifetime—classmates, future employers, college admission officers and family could potentially be exposed to the teen’s momentary lack of judgment through the permanency of intimate images and texts,” said Judge Anderson.
The court clerk training in Irving comes on the heels of new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch indicating one in four Texas teens are sexting. Results from the sexting study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 students at southeast Texas high schools, were published in a summer edition of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
“A great way to start the conversation on the dangers of sexting is by visiting beforeyoutext.com,” advised Anderson. “By educating teens on the dangers of sending inappropriate images or texts, we give them an opportunity to prevent unintended lifelong consequences.”
Source: City of Irving