Parents around the city breathed a heavy sigh of relief after the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal last summer irrevocably made sexting uncool. And just this month, a new study found that reports of teen sexting have been greatly over-exaggerated in the press. But it seems one Bensonhurst, Brooklyn junior high school has done its best to buck that trend.
Edward B. Shallow Junior High School led the city in sexting-related suspensions last school year, with 32 students feeling the wrath of no-nonsense Principal Brenda Champion. “She has a zero-tolerance policy,” said Phyllis Cangro, president of the Shallow PTA. Overall, nearly 500 city schools suspended kids for sexting violations, but only 13 schools tallied 10 or more, and none came close to Shallow.
Their kids seem particularly nonchalant about sexting: “Yeah, I’ve seen it. It was her boobs,” one girl said, referring to a picture of a classmate's breasts which was passed around the school by a boy who pressured her into sending it to him. Parents seem happy about the extra attention the school is paying to sexting: “Most kids walk to school by themselves. Parents work late, so maybe don’t have time to see what’s going on. A lot is left to the school to make sure they’re safe," said Cangro.
Perhaps more schools should be paying attention to these things: this week, a 30-year-old cheerleading coach was arrested for sexting with a 15-year-old girl he coached in Brookfield, Ct. Manuel Batson, who has been charged with risk of injury and impairing the morals of a minor, admitted to police that he sent nude photos of himself to the girl, but claimed he thought it was all right because she had told him she was already smoking and drinking.