By being aware of the relevant law and having policies in place to deal with sexting, prosecutors and law enforcement, school districts, parents, and teenagers themselves can curb sexting behavior while avoiding liability.

The crime of sexting Sexting can have serious social and emotional consequences for teens and adults alike - especially where a picture is taken without knowledge, forwarded without consent, or used to bully and harass.

Sexting" is a word you have probably heard but might not be able to define.

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but even compliant individuals face the shame and scrutiny of public reporting. Michelle Manchir, , Chicago Tribune (posted March 18, 2010), online at A similar bill, HB 4583, passed the Illinois House on March 11.

Beyond registering and reporting as sex offenders, students convicted of child pornography may also be bound by other restrictions that can significantly complicate their lives. Bland, , Arizona Republic (Aug 27, 2009) (cited in note 6) ("Lawmakers in Vermont, Utah and Ohio are making sexting a misdemeanor instead of a felony when the cases involve teenagers, and as long as the sender voluntarily transmitted the image."). Act of May 9, 2009, 2009 Vt Laws 58§ 4, to be codified at 13 VSA§ 2802b, online at Another slightly more punitive sexting bill, HB 5164, was still alive at presstime. Telephone conversation with Dave Haslett, Chief of the Illinois Attorney General’s High Tech Crimes Bureau (Sep 28, 2009). See Bassett, , The Telegraph (Jun 27, 2009) (cited in note 5) (Explaining that school districts are reviewing and amending policy to account for recent sexting behavior). Telephone conversation with Daniel Spillman, attorney for the Illinois Attorney General High Tech Crimes Bureau (May 13, 2009).

Teen sexting confronts attorneys and courts with new and complicated legal issues.

Moreover, a sexting teen's social and legal problems often converge at the schoolhouse door.

In addition to risking reputation and self-esteem, sexting teenagers also expose themselves, their peers, and their school administrators to significant criminal liability. Most alarmingly, a sexting minor, or a recipient of a sext message from a minor, may have committed one or more felonies under the Illinois Child Pornography Act (the "Act").

anyone he or she should know is under the age of 18 and who is engaged in any sexual act or in any pose involving lewd exhibition of unclothed or transparently clothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast.

For example, child sex offenders 17 and older cannot be present on school grounds or loiter or reside within 500 feet of the school building. See Kara Rowland, , WKYC-TV (Apr 13, 2009), online at /print.aspx?