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For attorneys who counsel educational institutions, it is only a matter of time before they must grapple with sexting-related issues.These issues pose difficult challenges for school administrators and staff, especially where improper investigation can subject school personnel to prosecution for the same criminal offenses that teens risk by sexting.Sex offense laws predating the sexting phenomenon do not contemplate the ease and frequency with which teens send risque' pictures to each other from their phones.

which would transform most sexting between teens from a felony to a noncrime by treating the teen in question as a nondelinquent minor in need of supervision under the Juvenile Court Act.

Thus, one unwise youthful indiscretion results in five felonies and subjects the teenage couple to branding as "sex offenders." A legislative response.

Some states have attempted to decriminalize sexting among teens, or at least reduce the offense from felony to misdemeanor.

Further, the embarrassment of uncontrolled dissemination of personal and private pictures can significantly disrupt the teen's life.

For example, after hundreds of people were sent sext messages a teen had sent only to her boyfriend, she was cruelly harassed through My Space and Facebook, leading her to hang herself.

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.

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