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Troy Schools Aim To Curb Sexting, OK Cell Phone Searches

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robsanford Rob Sanford
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TROY (WWJ/AP) - An Oakland County school district is stepping up the fight against “sexting” among teens.

WWJ’s Rob Sanford reports the Troy School District Board of Education has adopted a new policy to try to stem the tide of sexting — the practice of using text messages or email to send sexually explicit photos or messages — among teenagers.

Officials are telling students and their parents cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices could be searched beginning in September. The action would be taken if there is a reasonable suspicion of sexting. Law enforcement authorities also may be contacted if such messages are found.

While school officials say the policy wasn’t prompted by a specific incident, it may be one of the first of its kind to specifically address sexting in a Metro Detroit school district.

“It was just a matter of being proactive and recognizing that unfortunately across the United States with the proliferation of communication devices and social media, it’s … only a matter of time before this may occur,” Rich Machesky, Troy’s assistant superintendent for secondary instruction, told The Detroit News.

But the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has concerns about Troy’s policy, including how broadly it defines materials of a sexual nature. The ACLU also is concerned that the searches may lead to police getting involved.

The group’s legal director, Michael Stienberg, said sexting usually involves kids being irresponsible and careless. He said the students aren’t criminals and “they shouldn’t be treated that way.”

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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