Children As Young As 7 Are ‘Sexting’ At School, Study Reveals
A new study, conducted by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) in the United Kingdom, has some shocking revelations. They found that children as young as 7 years old have been caught "sexting" at school.
The Telegraph reports that the said study, which was launched at the NASUWT's annual conference in Birmingham on Friday, revealed that more than half of teachers in the U.K. were aware that some children at school are engaged in sexting, an act that involves using social media to exchange sexually explicit photographs, videos or images via cell phone. These include primary school students who are as young as 7 years old.
The teaching union, which has surveyed over 1300 teachers, also found that more than half of them were aware of sexting incidents involving students aged 13 to 16 years old. Moreover, a quarter of the teachers knew that 11-year-olds do the act while in school.
The study also highlighted some shocking incidents of students' behavior at school. In one incident, a girl tricked a boy to send a photo of his genitals, which she then forwarded to others. In another event, a group of pupils shared their female classmate's explicit selfies, which the latter took for a boy at another school.
Reacting to the study, a spokesman for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) told The Guardian that the number of students involved in sexting is alarming. The representative said that despite severe risks involved, students continue to practice the act as part of their everyday lives.
"When something goes wrong, the consequences can be devastating," the NSPCC spokesperson stated. "Apart from exposing them to bullying when images are shared, it could make children targets for sex offenders in some cases."
Aside from sexting incidents, NASUWT 's annual study also found that almost half of teachers in the U.K. had experienced receiving insulting, bullying or sexist messages from students through social media. It was also discovered that one third of teachers did not report the abuse, while half of them believed nothing could be done.
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