A California state lawmaker has come up with a new way to combat what he has defined as “sexting,” but what most of us might define as “revenge porn.”
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.
While sexting is often prosecuted criminally as a sex-related offense, such as revenge porn or child pornography, schools don’t always have a formal recourse to discipline students.
But in recent years, California has become increasingly aggressive about passing and enforcing revenge porn laws for adults.
In October 2015, the state attorney general’s office published a resource hub to help victims of “cyber exploitation.”
In 2009, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that 15 percent of “cell-owning teens ages 12-17 say they have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of someone they know via text messaging on their cell phone.”