This School Actually Handled Sexting Scandal the Right Way: No Teens Went to Jail.

It's possible to discourage inappropriate behavior without ruining lives.



Note to schools: it is possible to discipline students for sending nude photos of each other without, you know, totally ruining their lives or subjecting them to national embarrassment. Consider the example being set by Southgate Anderson High School in Michigan: two students received a three-day suspension for sexting—after a parent raised concerns—and that was that. 

According to The News-Herald, the school district only saw a need to punish the students at all because they had apparently sexted during school hours: 

"Anything that disrupts are students in the classroom," she said. "Even if something happens outside of school, if it gets brought into the classroom we have to intervene." 

In this case, the photos may or may not have been taken at school, but there were being shared during school hours. 

Hainrihar said because of when the photos were being shared the two students were suspended. 

"This was obviously causing a disruption," she said. 

A full three-day suspension still seems a tad harsh to me, given that it isn't clear normal school business was impacted very much. It seems the sexting was very much a secret between the two students until the female's father found out about it and asked to search her locker for additional devices that may contain lewd images. Parents, of course, have the right to settle on any kind of punishment they want. 

But what often happens in these cases is that the police become involved and the minor, private disciplinary matter gets escalated to criminal wrongdoing. In the name of protecting teens, the police charge teens with distributing child pornography—of themselves. This outcome is much worse for kids than the behavior it is supposed to be discouraging. 

The school did call the police—a serious mistake—but no charges were brought against the kids. Why can't all sexting scandals be resolved in such a fashion? 

NEXT: Obama Meets with Castro, Trump Reveals Foreign Policy Team, Clinton Attacks Trump on Israel: P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “Anything that disrupts are students in the classroom,” she said.

    OK ?.

    Anyway, don’t school metal detectors pick up cell phones?

  2. So that guy has that girl in his arms, and he’s texting.

  3. No we should ruin teen’s’ lives over something many of us might have done as a teen if we had the technology.


  4. The girl in the picture is blocking the view of the boy and this is very Othering to me.

    And I cannot help but assume that the writer Soave did this willfully and purposefully.

    How can this level of microagression be countenanced on this website?

    I ask you.

    1. That and the fact that they both appear to be honkies. Is that even allowed anymore? Wasn’t there some federal law passed that required any couple used in advertising to be mixed race?

  5. Dang, I thought the appropriate level of discipline would involve spankings.

  6. The school did call the police…

    The important thing is that at least a few law enforcement officers got to have boners.

    1. My guess is that these were two total uggos and once the cops saw the “evidence” they left. If they had been good looking you can be sure some of the cops would have been digging for more pics.

  7. pics or it didn’t happen

  8. The school actually did the wrong thing and called the police. Apparently the police did the right thing and declined to arrest.

    Also: “Anything that disrupts are students in the classroom,” she said.

    You can read that a number of ways.

    1. Yeah that is BS. The school should have zero say whatsoever in what happens outside of school hours. Unless it’s commuting too and from school, but I think the Supreme Court has ruled only certain things apply in that case

  9. *tones down* I came here to say: this country is dead, not dying. Didn’t matter where I posted it, fits perfectly to just about any single article but noooo. Some sort of semi rational article had to be posted. It hardly abates my sorrow for my country but it did dull my edge a bit. I guess I’ll be thankful that two kids escaped state approved destruction.

    1. Libertarian moment?

  10. One of my hobbies as a kid was making bombs, it really was, and I was good at it too.

    One time I made some “touch explosive” (getting iodine was a little difficult so I had to make do with some seawood which is highly enriched for iodine and extracted it, but I digress). Anyway, took some to school in what I thought was a safe container. Well, guess what, it wasn’t, and it kind of went off in a class. Ruined textbooks, unpleasant meetings in the office, phone call home, more unpleasant consequences at home etc. But that was it. Today, who knows

    1. Today – terrorism charges and rape cages.

      1. Depends – are you Muslim? Then you get to meet the president.

    2. I had a friend in high school who made some and put it on our seats in physics class. After a couple of booms and pant-shitting by the victims, the physics teacher told him to lay off. You could tell the teacher thought it was pretty funny. Didn’t even report it to anybody ne. Different times….

  11. no charges were brought against the kids. Why can’t all sexting scandals be resolved in such a fashion?

    When I was a kid, youthful indiscretions not involving hospitalization or property damage in the hundreds or thousands of dollars were dealt with by a throaty bellow of, “Knock that shit off!”

    1. Not to mention you had to pay 300 dollars and pick up the garbage.

      1. And the police pay for the twenty-seven 8?10 color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence.

  12. This School Actually Handled Sexting Scandal the Right Way: No Teens Went to Jail.

    Note to schools: it is possible to discipline students for sending nude photos of each other without,

    a couple side comments on this issue – not the article itself but on teen sexting in general.

    1. Its not a scandal. At all. No matter what, when, or who was involved. Teens sexting each other is simply not a scandal.

    2. Schools should not be disciplining students for this AT ALL. They’re trying to play this off as a ‘but its during school hours!!!111!!!’ but you don’t get three day suspensions for that. You get your phone taken away until the end of the day (or school year if the teacher is a big enough dick) and you get your parents called. *That’s* what should have happened.

  13. The school did call the police?a serious mistake?but no charges were brought against the kids.

    Soft on crime. Hard on other things.

  14. Why should this behavior even be considered inappropriate? isn’t it good that kids have these interests, & that they act on them?

  15. Well it should be the male didn’t go to jail, because in sexting cases the anti-male double standard comes into play and he is nailed while she gets off scot free.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.