MINOCQUA – Some principals think high schools across the country deal with sexting incidents more and more frequently. Schools in the Northwoods are no exception.
Earlier this week, Newswatch 12 reported about a 17-year-old Woodruff teen who allegedly sent nude photos and tried to convince underage girls to have sex with him.
Police think the teen was at home when he sent the messages and photos. They also say they found out about them through administrators at Lakeland Union High School.
The school’s principal says the school has a strict technology policy.
“We need to deal with it very conservatively,” says Principal and District Administrator James Bouché. “We need to make sure we respond to it very quickly. We need to make sure our community and our parents and our students understand we’re here to protect them from inappropriate use.”
Teachers teach students how to use computers, phones, and different apps appropriately.
The school takes reports of sexting or online bullying very seriously.
“Seven years ago when we first dealt with the first sexting incident, we were right on the line,” says Bouché. “We suspended the student. We continue to talk about the inappropriateness of it.”
Since then, the school has offered its students two ways to report other incidents—either online or through an app called ‘Stop It.’
“We’ve had on our website, ‘Report It’. This year, we have ‘Stop It,’ which is an app that students can download onto their smartphones and identify if some bullying is taking place. That is reported immediately,” says Bouché. “Letting students know that there is an avenue to go and fight against bullying, against sexting and against technology, inappropriate use—things of that fashion. We want our students to know there is a process.”
The school thinks parents should also talk to their kids about using technology appropriately.