HISD bans sexting and cyber-bullying

July 16, 2009 8:54:45 PM PDT
The Houston Independent School District is now taking steps to stop students from "sexting," the act of sending each other explicit text messages. They're also making moves to deal with "cyber-bullying." In an effort to try and keep up with the information age, HISD board members made some new rules to deal with terms like sexting and cyber-bullying. For the upcoming school year, the district is now banning these behaviors with some stiff punishments.

HISD is addressing the issue of sexting after teachers and principals say cell phones are omnipresent on every campus. One teacher told Eyewitness News this week that at least 80% of her eighth graders have cell phones. Teachers also say nude photos have been discovered on cell phones at school. That prompted a vote to ban sexting and it passed unanimously.

"This was an issue that was brought up by some principals and they felt it was prudent enough that we needed to take some proactive measures to make sure that we don't have any interference with the learning environment of our kids," said HISD Board Member Greg Meyers.

According to the HISD 2009-2010 code of conduct handbook, students caught sexting each other will find themselves in a student-parent administrator conference. After that, they face punishment ranging from suspension, loss of district transportation and computer use, and referral to the alternative education program.

In addition, the board banned cyber-bullying and students caught face similar punishment.

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