Aussie schools prioritising education around "sexting": ACMA

The watchdog claims schools are increasingly distributing the educational brochures and downloading the ACMA's Cybersmart ‘sexting’ lesson plans

An increasing number of Australian schools are prioritising educating students around ‘sexting’, according to the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA).

The ACMA senior education trainer, Greg Gebhart, said the Cybersmart ‘sexting’ lesson plans, provided by the advocacy group, provide students with realistic scenarios and educate them about the social and legal consequences of ‘sexting’—the sending of sexual messages, photos or videos, online or using a mobile phone.

"Over the last month more than 63,000 ‘sexting’ brochures have been distributed, and over three hundred copies of the ACMA’s Cybersmart ‘sexting’ lesson plans have been downloaded," Gebhart said in a statement

“The popularity of these educational resources suggests that ‘sexting’ is a top of mind issue for schools and teachers and is perceived as a growing risk for teenagers.

“Sharing sexually suggestive images or text messages may be seen as innocent flirting or amusement, but ‘sexting’ can have serious personal, social and legal consequence.”

According to Gebhart, the lessons are easily adaptable in the classroom, free of charge and part of a collection of educational cybersafety resources.

‘It is imperative that schools have policies and programs in place to educate and empower children and families about ‘sexting’ and how to reduce exposure and risks.”

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