Friday, June 24, 2016

Joplin R-8 Board to discuss policy that warns about sexting between friends

The Joplin R-8 Board of Education will have the first reading of a new policy Tuesday night that revises the current sex education policies to reflect changes in state law.

The new policy requires the district to do the following:

-Teach students about the characteristics of and ways to identify sexual predators

-Teach students safe and responsible internet use, including the dangers of online sexual predators, when using electronic communication methods such as the internet, mobile phones, text messages, chat rooms, social media, e-mail, and instant messaging.

-Instill in students the importance of having open communication with responsible adults reporting any inappropriate situation, activity, or abuse to a responsible adult, and depending on intent and content, to local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's "Cyber Tipline"

-Explain the potential consequences, both personal and legal, of inappropriate text messaging and sexting, even among friends.

The new laws deal with the ever-increasing number of schools that have faced instances of sexting, or sending nude or sexual photos. That number, as Turner Report readers may recall, included Joplin High School

Problems with sexting at JHS became public in April 2015 when the existence of a Dropbox account containing nude photos of at least 60 high school girls was revealed.

The following passage is from the April 15, 2015, Turner Report:

It was a dirty little secret known to only a few Joplin High School students- a Dropbox server containing nude photos of JHS students, mostly girls, some as young as 14.

Only the few who knew the code could access that box and look at its contents, which sources tell the Turner Report contained in the neighborhood of 600 photos, of at least 60 individual students.

This morning, someone revealed that access code and the dirty little secret exploded across the Joplin High School campus in minutes.

Some found the link on their school laptops, others on their cell phones.

They quickly shared it in messages to their friends and in Facebook posts.

Helping to make the messages go viral was information that was soon be shared that many of those who were featured in the Dropbox file were students who were considered to be in the "popular" crowd.

By the end of the day, Joplin High School officials were telling parents that their children's photos had been posted online and had been shared with the entire school. The Joplin Police Department began questioning suspects. Some were unavailable for questioning because they were involved in a school activity in Springfield.

Sources tell the Turner Report that one sad consequence of today's revelations has been that the students whose photos were in the Dropbox server, the victims, are being blamed for causing problems for the ones who were arrested.

No arrests were ever reported and the matter was quietly dropped.

The 'teaching about human sexuality" policy is one of three policies that are being updated to reflect changes in state law or to follow recommendations from the Missouri School Boards Association. 

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. with presentations from the three superintendent search firm finalists.  A closed session is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. for personnel matters


Anonymous said...

They are about 5 years to late. They were warned 6-7 years ago about this issue, and now they think a little class is going to alter behavior? High school students know how to bypass the schools wifi and visit sites with no filters. Maybe they will teach a little about pregnancy prevention / options because they have approached that topic head on too. The high school needs a day care so kids can graduate.

Anonymous said...

Everything is real easy. Buy them unlimited data on their smartphones and they can turn off their wifi and don't even need any tech the school provides. I wish parents would support the ban of cell phones in schools. Their is no logical use for them other then to get their child a message during the school day. But I'm call the kettle black both my kids have phones and I have sent them a text during school. Heck we even have board members using their phones during board meeting setting a good example.