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Sexting (a combination of sex and texting) is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily between cell phones.

It shows poor judgment when using digital technology by sending an image, video or text message of an explicit (adult) or risque nature to another individual.

Sexting is serious, dangerous, has consequences and can ruin your future.

In January 2009, a survey of 1200 teenagers reported that one in five had sent explicit photos of themselves

In 2007, 32 Victoria teenagers were prosecuted as a result of sexting activity.Child pornography charges were brought against six teenagers in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in January 2009 after three girls sent sexually explicit photographs to three male classmates

In Fort Wayne, Indiana a teenage boy was indicted on felony obscenity charges for allegedly sending a photo of his private parts to several female classmates. Another boy was charged with child pornography in a similar case.

Police investigated an incident at Margaretta High School in Castalia, Ohio in which a 17-year-old area girl allegedly sent nude pictures of herself to her former boyfriend, and the pictures started circulating around the high school after the two got into a fight. The 17-year-old girl was charged with being an "unruly child" based on her juvenile status.

Two southwest Ohio teenagers were charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a first-degree misdemeanor, for sending or possessing nude photos on their cell phones of two 15-year-old classmates.

UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES of what could happen if you take, send or forward sexual photos of you or someone underage. You could get kicked out of clubs, sports teams and even out of school, be humiliated, not get into college or be acepted for jobs ... and you could even be in trouble with the law.

BEFORE HITTING SEND remember that what gets posted on the Internet stays there! Once on the Internet, your photo can become a viral marketing campaign -- meaning others can spread your photo all over the Internet. You may trust your girlfriend or boyfriend but consider the fact that they can send your photo to their friends which can be sent to many others, or they could post it on the Internet.

NEVER TAKE images of yourself that you wouldn’t want anyone else to see. This includes family, classmates, teachers,employers.

CONSIDER THAT IF YOU FORWARD a sexual picture of someone underage, you are as responsible for as the original sender of this image. You could face child pornography charges, go to jail, and have to register as a sex offender.

REPORT any nude pictures you receive on your cell phone to an adult you trust. Do not delete the message. Instead, get your parents or guardians, teachers, and school counselors involved immediately.

Now that you've read about the consequences of sexting do you think it's really important to participate in something
that could end your plans for the future?

THINK CAREFULLY before you send that sext message.