Health Chiefs want children caught sexting to be referred to social workers and psychiatrists.
Snapchat is one of the mobile apps that is abused by teens. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) warns: Worried teachers should refer these children to the local social services department.
First, NICE blames sexting craze for the high rates of depression and anxiety among youngsters, especially girls. These kids can receive counseling from psychiatrists in the hope of shaping their behavior before they commit a serious offence.
Also, many teens discover that unflattering images have been sent between classmates behind their backs. Unfortunately, cruel comments were included in these images. These acts lead to bullying and increase in suicidal rates among pre-teens and teens.
Dr. Abdullah Kraam, a psychiatrist in Wakefield, West Yorkshire helped to set the guidelines. He noted,
“Our main concern is that there is a group of children who display sexualized behavior that is harmful. Some of it is so severe that they end up in the criminal justice system. Some of it is on the milder end but it is still concerning. Our hope is that by early intervention, we can prevent a slippery slope into more severe behavior.”
Meanwhile, there are some critics who believe NICE and the police department is taking this issue too far. Chris McGovern of the Campaign for Real Education said,
“They’re overreacting. This is a dangerous if well-intentioned policy. It’s going to have very unfortunate and negative consequences. Many children do this out of innocence or ignorance. They are going to be labelled as offenders from a very young age. All they need is for a teacher or parent to have a quiet word in their ear.”
So, what do you think…is it necessary or just an overreaction to normal behavior?
See Mailonline for more details of the report.