Los Angeles Unified School District to combat 'sexting' as students head back to school

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As kids head back to school, a new campaign is in place to educate students about the dangers of "sexting."

Los Angeles Unified School District officials say sexting hasn't become an overwhelming problem in their schools, but they're not taking any chances. They want to be proactive when it comes to educating their students about the dangers of sexting.

Starting in September, educational videos will be shown to middle school and high school students, teaching them how to prevent sexting from occurring and how to manage it if it does happen.

This is all part of LAUSD's "Now Matters Later" campaign, which focuses on teaching students positive social strategies.

School officials want to help teenagers understand that what they do now will follow them - especially in the age of social media.

"They're aware of the importance of being socially responsible online. We want young people to know that what they do on social media will affect their lives in the future, possibly impacting careers, their job opportunities, enrollment for universities," said Holly Priebe-Diaz, coordinator of school operations at LAUSD.

Also, students should realize that their actions can have consequences, including legal ramifications.

"I think what the students don't understand, they're not really thinking about this, it's actually considered a form of child pornography," said Chief Steven Zipperman with the Los Angeles School Police Department.

District officials say the most important and effective tool in combating sexting is parental communication. As uncomfortable as it may be, officials say parents should talk to their children about how they feel about the topic and also get the kids' feedback.
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