Effective middle school practices to reduce the frequency with which students share sexually explicit content.
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Heathcote, Shorr, 1983-
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The Central Independent School District (CISD) has experienced an uptick in student sexting incidents at the middle school level. It is the opinion of Central ISD and the researcher that additional efforts are required to adequately address student sexting. District leadership seeks opportunities to improve its practices and understand what improvements can be made to strengthen these efforts. In an effort to address student sexting, the Texas Education Agency requires public school districts to make sexting education programs and resources available to parents and students. The purpose of this study was to determine how suburban districts are implementing the state’s requirements, the effectiveness of the current practices, and what needs to be done to strengthen how sexting can be addressed in school. A literature review, qualitative dual case study and review of district artifacts were used to examine the policies, programs and practices used to address sexting in two similar sized suburban districts. The researcher coded and analyzed the data obtained to reveal nine common themes which include, (1) an eagerness to move beyond state laws and local consequences, (2) the use of technology to combat technological misconduct, (3) an increased relevancy and role(s) of law enforcement officials on campus, (4) a necessity of training staff members to respond to reports of sexting, (5) embedding sexting education in school curricula and student trainings, (6) challenges related to discipline and data reporting, (7) a possible uptick in reports due to anonymous reporting systems, (8) current programs focused on consequences, and (9) partnerships with parents and community members are necessary. Findings from the research and dual case study revealed the need for developing a comprehensive framework for addressing student sexting through collaborative partnerships.