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SMS education courses to be offered in Canadian schools

In a report from the Montreal Gazette, a text education course will be introduced in 100 Grade 7 classrooms across the country in a pilot program. If all goes well, a full program will be implemented this September.

The Grade 7 teachers who have agreed to set up a pilot course will implement the material from textED.ca and create three 40-90 minute lesson plans. The curriculum will address the issue of "sexting" as well as texting harassment and privacy. Once feedback is collected an adjustments are made, curriculum details will be sent to all junior high schools in September. This course will be made optional for schools to implement.

Signy Arnason, a worker with Child Protection Services claims, "Certainly, the goal isn't to be arresting these kids for distributing what technically is child pornography; the goal is to intervene as soon as possible . . . So what police are very excited about is that this is a real prevention tool." This course certainly has the potential to become a prevention tool, but it will remain to be seen until the organizers receive feedback from the pilot project.

This is off of the heels of a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Institute, which shows that 15% of teens ages 12-17 say they have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of someone they know via text messaging on their cell phone.

It also interesting to note that financial support for this program is being provided by the Canadian Wireless Communications Association, which shows that they are at least taking ownership for providing the education for texting appropriately and safely. LG recently introduced Give It A Ponder which demonstrates the negative implications of "sexting":

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