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New Jersey Statutes, Title: 18A, EDUCATION

    Chapter 35: 2-year course of study in history

      Section: 18A:35-4.32: Findings, declarations relative to "sexting."

          1. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. The teenage practice of "sexting," sending a sexually explicit text message, is a nationwide issue for students, parents, school administrators, and law enforcement officials.

b. What many teens do not realize is that, by law, a sexual image of any person under the age of 18 is child pornography. Prosecutors in several states have charged teenagers who have engaged in this behavior with criminal offenses, including distribution of child pornography.

c. Pursuant to a law which became effective in April, 2012, the New Jersey Legislature provided for a diversionary program for juveniles who are criminally charged for "sexting" or posting sexual images and permits them to participate in a remedial education or counseling program as an alternative to criminal prosecution.

d. Beyond the legal consequences of this behavior, however, sexting also has significant non-legal consequences including, but not limited to, the effect on relationships, loss of educational and employment opportunities, and being barred or removed from school programs and extracurricular activities.

e. Because of the unique characteristics of cyberspace and the Internet, a single sext has the potential to cause long-term and possibly unforeseen consequences, and result in severe embarrassment, ridicule, cyber-bullying, and lasting mental and emotional trauma.

f. It is imperative that students understand at a young age the severity of sending sexually explicit text messages and the impact that these actions have on the students themselves, their victims, and the community and that they receive instruction on how and why to refrain from this very dangerous behavior.

L.2018, c.80, s.1.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2018-09-12 16:04:49.

Older versions of 18a:35-4.32 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.