Since September 2013, my team and I have been working on a project in the in the Gwinnett Neighborhood Leadership Institute (GNLI). It's designed to have county-wide impact, and we've decided to focus our attention on sexting and the potential mental scars it can leave on today's adolescence. The mental scars may include low self esteem, depression, low emotional intelligence, behavioral difficulties leading to early sexual activity, and suicide.
What is sexting? It's the the sending of sexually explicit photos, images, text messages, or e-mails by using a cell phone or other mobile device.
This March, we will present our plan that's designed to be sustained well beyond the months we've spent working on it.
The goals of our Adolescence Wellness and Sexting Prevention Program are to:
- Promote adolescence health and wellness through sexting awareness and prevention for youths (ages 13 to 17) in Gwinnett County
- Encourage teens to use good judgment in a world of social media and technology
- Provide information to parents and vested stakeholders in the community about youth sexting in Gwinnett county
- Provide information and resources to Gwinnett County middle and high school students regarding the problems and negative impact of sexting
- Heighten awareness of the laws related to sexting
We agree that as more teens have smartphones and access to internet, sexting will likely increase. Also, various surveys, studies, and reports indicate that teen sexting is a growing concern. Therefore, we want to proactively combat sexting by compiling resources that will benefit ALL Gwinnetians (especially parents and teens).
We are still, however, seeking partnerships with vested stakeholders. For more information, contact Emma Reynolds-Middleton at firstname.lastname@example.org.