Sumner County students fight to end sexting among peers

Don't Hit Send sexting campaign
Photo: WKRN

SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A group of Sumner County students are fighting sexting, which is when someone sends sexually explicit pictures or messages by phone.

They said it is happening more at their high school and they want it to stop.

“Social media is definitely making it worse,” said Alex Baird, a sophomore at Station Camp High School.

She said she is seeing more classmates send suggestive, sometimes nude pictures through text messages or apps.

Don't Hit Send sexting campaign
Photo: WKRN

“One of the biggest ones is Snapchat,” said Baird. She said the pictures sometimes get sent around.

Baird and two other students, Claira Tracey, a junior, and Emma Hampton, a sophomore, are trying to raise awareness through their public relations campaign called “Don’t Hit Send.”

The honor students all said they had experience with sexting. They said they have been asked to send pictures before. They also know students who suffered the consequences.

“Last year in the school we had had a couple of girls who got into trouble with it and it ended up with them getting suspended and then also in the county there were girls kicked off their sports teams and boys, too,” said Tracey.

Sumner County school district spokesman Jeremy Johnson said he can’t comment on specific incidents but said, “We have definitely seen an increase in sexting related incidents since more and more students are carrying cell phones now.”

Don't Hit Send sexting campaign
Photo: WKRN

The group of students wanted to address it.

“We realize most of our peers don’t know what can happen just form sending these pictures, like a lot of them don’t think it’s a big deal, but really, there’s a bunch of consequences that come from it,” said Hampton.

The consequences could include jail time.

In a few months the group will compete against other schools.

“I feel like the more we compete, there’s state and internationals, that more people will hear about our project and we can get the word out more about it,” said Baird.

They said the ultimate goal is to make students think twice before sending an explicit photo.

Spokesman Johnson said he couldn’t supply the statistics as to how many students have been disciplined for sexting related incidents but said they do have a protocol in place which includes contacting the Department of Children’s Services and law enforcement to see if charges need to be filed.

Click here to learn more about their campaign.

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