California Bill Adds Sexting to Students’ Grounds for Being Expelled

Some sexting among minors constitutes bullying or acts of revenge, and a bill before the California Assembly would allow expulsion as a punishment for students doing so.

Cyrus Farivar writes that

Asm. Ed Chau’s (D-Monterey Park) new bill would empower public schools to expel students under 18 who engage in the potentially degrading behavior.

According to the draft legislation, which was formally introduced late last month in the California Assembly, sexting is defined as “the dissemination of, or the solicitation or incitement to disseminate, a photograph or other visual recording by a pupil to another pupil or to school personnel by means of an electronic act with the purpose or effect of humiliating or harassing a pupil.”

Specifically, if signed into law, the new statute would affect students on school grounds, en route to or from school or a school event, and even during the school’s lunch hour regardless of whether the student is on or off campus.

See, Beware, California students: You could be expelled for “sexting” on campus @ Ars Technica.

This is, as Farivar notes, closer to addressing problems of revenge pornography than sexting. Sexting among minors brings obvious criminal risks even if the minors involved believe they’ve found willing recipients.  (Practitioners in cyberspace issues should be prepared to make a referral to a criminal lawyer in cases where a minor client has distributed sexually explicit images of other minor children.  For a story about an ongoing investigation in Wisconsin involving possibly dozens of children, see, Waukesha police investigate students as young as 10 in sexting case @ JSOnline.)

See, also, a copy of the California legislation concerning expulsion:

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