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What can parents and school administrators do to prevent sexting among high school students?
I don’t think there is much administrators can do aside from create educational opportunities (training for teachers and some type of public service announcement for students), supporting teachers in enforcement of policies, and actually following through on consequences for students.
As far as what parents can do? Parents have far more power than anyone else. They are the linch pin in the system. They can kill almost any policy a school may have, because failing to get what they want from administration invariably leads to them escalating to the district office, which usually leads to administration folding like a cheap suit.
What can parents do? Since they are (in all likelihood) paying the bill for the phone, they have access to the text message history. They then have the right, ability, and duty to go through those texts.
How can parents avoid creating a caustic relationship with their children? I’m planning to raise my daughter as I was raised. I never had money of my own while under my parents’ roof, even when I worked. My parents made sure that I knew that I didn’t have a room; rather there was a room in their house which I was allowed to use and where I could keep my property (of course that was all their property, which they also kindly let me use).
I shall raise my daughter with the knowledge that my home is my home, but that I love her enough to share it with her. That sharing does not confer upon her rights.
Because of this understanding, I knew that they could (and did) go into “my” room any time they wanted. While this may sound harsh to some people, it kept me from having the attitudes I see so prevalent among my students, an attitude born of a sense of entitlement. If I’d been raised to believe differently, I would likely have been upset, but understanding the dynamic of ownership and power meant never missing what I’d never had.
Similarly, I shall raise my daughter with the knowledge that my home is my home, but that I love her enough to share it with her. That sharing does not confer upon her rights. This policy extends to any technology and infrastructure (phones, computers, data plans, wifi, etc.) for which I pay.
So she can text, but she’ll be aware that I’m going to see it. She can find a way around it with some other application, but I’m savvy enough to figure that out as well.
Daniel Kaplan is a high school teacher and is dedicated to lifelong learning. He has a master’s degree in literature and a minor in education. You can read more Quora posts here: