Lawmaker: Expel students who engage in worst ‘sexting’

sextingCalWatchDog-At a time when the U.S. legal system is facing critics from both the Left and the Right for overprosecuting mistake-prone young people and leaving permanent scars on their lives, a California lawmaker wants to allow schools to expel students for “sexting” — sending explicit photos electronically to classmates. A 2009 MTV survey found that one-third of American teens had sent, received or seen “sexts.”

But the Assembly member behind the measure — Ed Chau, D-Monterey Park — says his bill, AB2356, will be carefully crafted to only allow for the expulsion of students who send sexually explicit or nude photos electronically “with the purpose or effect of humiliating or harassing a pupil.” Chau emphasized that existing laws on cyberbullying and revenge porn were not adequate to deal with the “sexting” problem, which experts have said for years leads to mental health issues among teens.

The law would not apply to “sexts” sent from student to student while away from school, leading critics to wonder about its effectiveness. But that wasn’t the only objection raised to Chau’s bill, as The Los Angeles Times reported:

Catherine Hill, vice president for research at the association, said she would prefer an approach to sexting that allows the students to address their actions while remaining on campus and receiving counseling. …

 Free speech advocates have been skeptical of efforts to address cyberbullying.

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