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Sexting Laws Could Be Added to School Handbooks

Alton, Creative Commons

A lawmaker wants to help make students aware of the consequences of using their cell phones to send nude pictures, which can sometimes result in a felony offense.

Representative La Shawn Ford proposes adding the language of Illinois' law on "sexting" into local schools' guidelines. Ford, a Democrat from Chicago, says parents and students need to be more aware that sending naked pictures has serious consequences.

"Students do these acts, and they do it for fun, but if they knew that it was against the law, they probably would have second thoughts. the law probably carries more weight that the school code that they may get a detention for," Ford said.

Depending on students' ages, sexting can be considered child pornography, which is a felony.

Opponents to the measure say many school boards already include a section on sexting in their handbooks, and that there may be better ways to inform the public of the legal consequences. The proposal passed out of committee, and now goes to the House.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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