Detroit-area school district is attempting to curb sexting among its students by adopting a policy that subjects their cellphones, laptops and other electronic devices to search if there is “reasonable suspicion” of them emailing, texting or possessing sexually explicit pictures or messages, the Detroit News reports.
Troy School District Board of Education officials say the policy wasn’t prompted by a specific incident, but rather “was just a matter of being proactive,” according to Rich Machesky, the district’s assistant superintendent for secondary instruction. The policy applies to any activity on school grounds or at a school event, and even if state or federal pornography laws are not broken.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has taken issue with Troy’s policy -- namely, how broadly it defines materials of a sexual nature, and the school’s ability to hand over a student’s private phone to local authorities. According to the Detroit News, the ACLU claims under the district’s current definition, biology books would be considered explicit material.
"While sexting can sometimes be an expression of bad judgment, it’s not a crime and kids should not be criminalized for these mistakes,” Michael J. Steinberg, the legal director for the ACLU Michigan, told WXYZ.