Dangers of Texting and Sexting (What Kind of Message are You Sending?) TEACHER S GUIDE

Dangers of Texting and Sexting (What Kind of Message are You Sending?) TEACHER’S GUIDE Dangers of Texting and Sexting TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduct...
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Dangers of Texting and Sexting (What Kind of Message are You Sending?)

TEACHER’S GUIDE

Dangers of Texting and Sexting

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

3

Learning Objectives

3

Program Summary

4

Send Home Letter

5

Guidelines For Discussion

6

Questions for Discussion

7

Classroom Activity

8

Handouts

9-12

( may be copied for class distribution) Script



13-18

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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Introduction Cell phones, mobile email devices and handheld computers provide students with the ability to send and receive messages within seconds. Today many students see their cell phones and other communication devices as their life line to fun and friends. Dangers of Texting is designed to help teachers and students approach the realities of texting through real life experiences. Dramatic scenarios will help students to understand the positive and negative sides of this new technology. Viewers will covers the basics on the do’s and don’ts of texting and sexting. The program demonstrates the consequences of using this technology if you don’t think ahead before you hit send. Students will learn that being able to text family and friends is a good thing when you are careful and responsible.

Learning Objectives This program is designed to help students: • Understand that digital distractions are a safety and health risk • Understand that health and safety are more important then sending or responding to text messages • The human brain cannot focus on two things at one time • Multi-tasking is a myth • Multi-taskers take longer to get work done and make many more mistakes than people who focus on one thing at a time • Discuss rumors and how rumors can be affected by texting. • Think about the consequences before you hit send • Sending a picture or message of a sexual nature is called sexting • Sexting is not only inappropriate but illegal.

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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Program Summary TEXTING, DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH Sara, Tina and Kelly were out shopping one day. When Sara begins to text her mom, she walks into a pole and almost died of embarrassment. When Kelly gets in to a phone conversation with Jake, she walks off the curb and almost into an oncoming car. They decide to put their phones away, but then get knocked over by a kid who is texting while riding a skateboard. THERE’S A RIGHT TIME AND PLACE FOR TEXTING John thinks he can multitask. He texts constantly while doing his homework, but finds himself taking twice as long to do his homework and making too many mistakes. He decides to put his phone on vibrate. But the vibration only makes him more curious as to who’s trying to contact him. He finally decides to turn his cell phone off. YOU CAN’T TAKE IT BACK A rumor that Jason cheated on a test is flying around the students at his school. Jason tried to tell everyone he didn’t cheat. But the rumor was out there. Once a message is sent, you can’t take it back and there are consequences to hitting the send button. WHAT IS “SEXTING?” When Angela and Denise have a big fight. Angela wants to hurt her in a big way so she snaps an unflattering picture of Denise one day in the locker room when she was getting changed. She sent the picture to everyone she knew and lots of kids sent it to their friends. They all learn that “sexting” is not only hurtful, but illegal, too.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Send-Home Letter Dear Family Member: Your child has seen a program called, “Dangers of Texting.” Designed as a prevention program, its aim is to show students the positive and negative sides of this new technology. Through this program, your children will discuss the basics on the do’s and don’ts of texting and sexting. Using the fictionalized stories of four young students negatively affected by inappropriate texting, the program helps students to . . .

• Understand digital distractions are a safety and health risk • Learn the human brain cannot focus on two things at one time • see multi-taskers take longer to get work done and make many more mistakes than people who focus on one thing at a time • Discuss rumors and how rumors can be affected by texting. • Think about the consequences before hitting send • Learn sending a picture or message of a sexual nature is called sexting • Understand sexting is not only inappropriate but illegal.

Talk with your child about what he or she learned from the program. Discuss and set rules for texting in your family. Most importantly, set a good example.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Guidelines for Group Discussion Group discussion is an invaluable way to explore ideas and issues, foster creativity, and build communication and social skills in young students. The following guidelines can help you maintain a “discussion-friendly” classroom: • Create a climate of openness and acceptance. Encourage students to show respect for the opinions of others and model this behavior yourself. • Establish ground rules. Students can participate in formulating the rules for discussion. Rules will vary, but should include some of these general principles: — No putdowns, ridicule or sarcasm. — Everyone may speak without interruption. — Everyone has the right to pass. • Guard against inappropriate self-disclosure. An intense discussion may lead students to reveal inappropriate information about themselves or others. Sensitivity and vigilance can help you head off such revelations. • Probe behind the neat and tidy answers. Children are good at telling adults what they think adults want to hear. To find out what students really think, it is often helpful to prolong discussion time and encourage greater depth. Offer a “What if...?”; bring out issues such as fairness, justice, intent or lack of it, and so on. Children have a remarkable capacity to discern complexities and subtleties, and their discussions can be very rich.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Questions for Discussion 1. Do you think there are safety concerns associated with texting? Is what happened to Sarah funny or dangerous? What about what happened to Kelly? Why or why not? Explain. 2. What are some ways to practice good texting habits? What did John do to make better texting decisions? Sarah and her friends? Talk about it. 3. What can you do to ensure texting doesn’t affect your grades or relationships? 4. Have you ever been affected by a rumor? Did texting play a part in it? How could texting make a rumor worse? 5. Explain how spreading rumors by texting can get the person who sent the text and the people who receive it into trouble. Think about Jason and the people who accused him of cheating. 6. Explain in your own words what sexting is and why it is dangerous. 7. How do you think Denise felt having a private picture sent around of her? What would you do if you received a text like that? 8. Angela and even some of her friends could be in legal trouble for sexting. What about sexting is illegal? Do you think it should be illegal? Why or why not? 9. Do you have friends you feel have a texting problem? If so, what does it look like? How does it affect your relationship? How does it make you feel?



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Classroom Activity

Sending the Right Message Divide your class into small groups. Ask each group to create a form of advertising that they think will best get the message across to their fellow schoolmates the dangers of texting or sexting. (examples: a poster, an advertising jingle, a radio or television Public Service Announcement, a flyer)



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Handout #1 Read each statement below and decide if you agree or disagree. Circle your answer in the left hand column. After viewing the program, read the statements again and circle your answers in the right hand column. Did your answer change? Talk about it.

Before Viewing

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

If someone texts you while you are walking to school with friends, you should text them back immediately. Agree Homework time is an appropriate time catch up on your text messages. Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree Agree

Disagree Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Agree

Disagree

Texting your best friend about the intimate details of last nights date with your significant other is a good idea. Sexting is an important part of a relationship and is ok.

Agree

Disagree

It is always a good idea to re-read a text message and check who you are sending it to before hitting send.

Agree

Disagree

Agree Agree



After Viewing

Disagree Disagree

Rumors started with texting can get you and people who receive the message into trouble. Texting is a bad way to contact friends and family and should not be used unless absolutely necessary. There can be legal implications to sexting.

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Disagree

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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Handout #2 Below is a list of activities you might encounter in a day. Circle “yes” if you think it is a safe time to text or circle “no” if it might be dangerous. 1. walking on a crowded street 2. sitting on your couch (Yes)

(Yes) (No)

3. waiting in line at a store (Yes) 4. driving (Yes)

(No)

(No)

(No)

5. making dinner (Yes)

(No)

6. waiting for the bus (Yes)

(No)

7. giving directions to your friends mom while she is driving you home from school (Yes) (No) 8. walking the family pet (Yes)

(No)

Below is a list of things you probably do everyday. Next to each activity circle “yes” if you think it is an appropriate time to text or circle “no” if you should focus on the activity. 1. Homework (Yes) 2. Watching TV (Yes)

(No) (No)

3. Playing computer or video games (Yes) 4. Having dinner with your family (Yes) 5. Getting coffee with your friends (Yes) 6. Reading a book for enjoyment (Yes) 7. Sitting in health class (Yes) 8. Brushing your teeth (Yes)



(No)

(No) (No) (No)

(No) (No)

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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Handout #3 Circle the numbers below that represent how many texts you think it is appropriate to send in a day. 1-10

10-25

25-50

50-100

100+

Explain why you chose your answer: Circle the sample text messages below that represent things it would be appropriate to text your friends or family about. Put an x on ones that might spread rumors and could possibly get you in trouble. I just got an A on a paper for Mrs. Smith, the hardest teacher in school. The lunch is serving the mystery meat again. I just saw a girl that didn’t look like Patty kissing Patty’s boyfriend. Lacrosse practice is canceled after school. Did you see Lisa’s designer jeans? How could she afford those? I bet she stole them. What time does the party start tonight? Michael got muscular fast. Can you say steroids? Coffee after school? It has been like the worst day ever!

Think about your best friend(s). How many times a day to you text your best friend(s). What kinds of things do you text about? Write a general list about the things you might text your friends in a day.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Handout #4 Journal Entry Write a journal entry from the perspective of a girl or boy who just went on a first date. You come in school on Monday to find out that your date not only texted the entire school false information, but attached a very sexual picture (that doesn’t paint you in the best light). By lunch you have a new nickname that everyone is calling you by. The guidance counselor wants to see you during 8th period.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

Script:

HOST (OC):

DANGERS OF TEXTING (WHAT KIND OF MESSAGE ARE YOU SENDING?)

How many text messages do you get a day? How many do you send? I never thought about it before but text messaging can really change your life, in good ways, and in bad ways. There are lots of positives but also lots of negatives. TEXTING, DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH

HOST (OC):

Okay, so my friend Sarah is out shopping today with two of her friends, Kelly and Tina. They were having a pretty good time, but things got dangerous. They weren’t attacked or mugged or anything, they were texting.

HOST (VO):

Sarah had just got a text message from her mom that got her angry. It was something about her room not being clean. So Sarah was intent about letting her mom know that she was mad, and focused on responding to her mom. As it turned out, Sarah was so focused she walked right into a pole. Sarah didn’t really get hurt, but she almost died from embarrassment. That was just the start. Kelly likes this guy Jake, and she got a text message from him. So Kelly’s all into chatting with him. When they got to a curb, Kelly is reading a message from Jake, and if it weren’t for Tina pulling her from behind, she would have walked right into an oncoming car. That scared everybody, so they decided to put their cell phones away until they sat down. That was the safe thing to do.

HOST (OC):

You know they have laws about texting while driving? Maybe they should make a law about texting while walking. Don’t get me wrong, I think texting is the best thing.

HOST (VO):

But I also think there’s a time and a place to do it.

HOST (OC):

Maybe there should be a rule, like you should only text while standing still.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

TEMPTATIONS OF TEXTS HOST (OC):

What I like about texting is that you an get in touch with your friends any time.

BOY INSERT (OC):

Well I can tell you that I just got my first cell phone, and I got unlimited texting; since then things haven’t gone so well for me.

HOST (OC):

What do you mean?

BOY INSERT (OC):

Okay, here’s the thing. At first it was really cool. It was fun keeping in touch with my friends, and I had my phone on all the time, except in school.

BOY (VO):

Then at night I’d be doing my homework and I’d get a message, so I’d text back. Then I’d get a question about homework and I’d answer that one. And all of a sudden it was taking me two hours to do homework that should have taken me half-an-hour.

HOST (OC):

You can text and do your homework at the same time, right?

BOY INSERT (OC):

I thought that’s what I was doing, but then I learned that brains don’t work like that. You can’t really do two different things at the same time.

HOST (OC):

I can walk and chew gum.

BOY (OC):

Yeah, but your brain doesn’t have to be thinking or focused to chew gum.

HOST (OC):

True.

BOY (OC):

So I was spending a lot more time doing my homework but I was making lots of mistakes, and my grades were getting bad.

HOST (VO):

That’s strange.

BOY (VO):

My dad explained it like this. When you try to do different things at the same time, you have to keep reminding your brain what you’re working on, and that takes more time. It’s better to focus and concentrate on one thing, and get it done.

HOST (VO):

So what did you do?

BOY (OC):

Well I thought if I put my phone on vibrate – you know, turned off the sound – things would get better. But they didn’t.

HOST (OC):

How come?



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

BOY (OC):

Because when my phone vibrated I couldn’t help but to look to see who it was. That was just as distracting.

HOST (OC):

I can see that. I’m always tempted to see who’s calling me, and I just can’t resist looking to see who it is.

BOY (OC):

I know, that’s how I am too. So now when I do my homework I turn off my cell phone and put it in another room. I’m getting my homework done a lot faster and my grades are a lot better. And I have more time to talk to my friends later.

HOST (OC):

Cool; that’s not a bad idea.

HOST (VO):

Get rid of anything that’s distracting, like your cell phone. Avoid the temptation to text. Do your homework. Stay focused. Get it done, and then move on to something else. YOU CAN’T TAKE IT BACK

HOST (OC):

Oh, excuse me [READS TEXT]. Amy kissed Paul on the bus. Big news. It’s probably not true. Kids spread rumors at my school all the time. Most of the time it’s stupid stuff, but this one time this kid Mike started a rumor about Jason that got both of them in trouble.

HOST (VO):

Mike and Jason sat next to each other in class. One day while they were taking a test, Jason looked around the class. Mike thought he was cheating. He told his best friend Brandon.

BRANDON (OC):

So how did you do on the test?

MIKE (OC):

Okay, I got a B.

BRANDON (OC):

Me too.

MIKE (OC):

I heard Jason got a B+

BRANDON (OC):

No way – he never gets a good grade on a test.

MIKE (0C):

I know. I think he was cheating. He was looking around the room the whole time.

BRANDON (OC):

Really? We should tell everyone and make sure he’s not cheating.

MIKE (OC):

Good idea. Let’s text everyone.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

HOST (VO):

GIRL (OC): JASON (OC): GIRL (OC):

In just a few minutes the rumor was spreading throughout the whole school. The next day, kids who sat around Jason were accusing him of cheating. Hey Jason. What? I heard you cheated off me in the test yesterday.

JASON (OC):

No I didn’t.

GIRL (OC):

That’s what everybody’s saying – you cheated.

JASON (OC):

Who said?

GIRL (OC):

I got this text from Mike – look.

JASON (OC):

But I didn’t.

GIRL (OC):

That’s what everybody’s saying.

HOST (OC):

Mike said Jason cheated. Jason said he didn’t. But it didn’t matter – the rumor that Jason was a cheater was out there, and no-one could take it back. Jason was so mad he confronted Mike.

JASON (OC):

Why are you telling everyone I cheated in the test?

MIKE (OC):

Because you did. I saw you.

JASON (OC):

I don’t cheat.

MIKE (OC):

Then stop looking at everybody’s test – I saw you.

JASON (OC):

No, I didn’t do that.

MIKE (OC):

You’re a cheater.

JASON (OC):

Take it back.

HOST (OC):

The problem is, once you text a rumor it’s out there forever.

HOST (VO):

That’s why it’s important to think about the kinds of messages you send. Rumors can have lots of negative consequences. And people can get hurt.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

WHAT IS “SEXTING?” HOST (OC):

Did you ever hear of the term ‘sexting’? Do you know what it is? I learned about it the hard way at school because of this girl, Angela, and what she did to me.

HOST (VO):

Angela and I were on the same basketball team. For some reason she was mad at me and wanted to get me back. One day when we were getting changed in the locker room, Angela took an embarrassing picture with here cell phone and sent it to everyone at school. The next day kids began to tease me, but I didn’t know what happened.

BOY (OC):

Woo- Denise.

HOST (VO):

My friend Claire showed me the picture.

CLAIRE (OC):

I was going to call you about this last night.

HOST (OC):

About what?

CLAIRE (OC):

About this.

HOST (OC):

Who took that picture?

GIRL?(OC)

Nice picture Denise.

HOST (VO):

I was so embarrassed. But that was only the beginning. A couple of days later the police were at our school, and everybody who got a copy of the picture had to go to the office to meet with the police officers.

HOST (OC):

Angela didn’t know it but she got in real deep trouble by taking, and sending, a picture of me in the locker room. Dan got in trouble too, because he sent it to all his friends. It’s called sexting. GRAPHIC

HOST (VO):

Sexting is send inappropriate pictures or text messages. Sexting is illegal.

HOST (VO):

And it can cause problems for everyone involved, even the people who receive the message.

HOST (OC):

Having a cell phone and being able to text your friends and family is a good thing. But like we’ve seen, you have to be careful of how, and when, you use it.



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Dangers of Texting and Sexting

HOST (VO):

Sometimes texting can cause distractions that can lead to injuries. Texting is tempting, and can cause you not to focus on the task at hand. Don’t send hurtful messages, because once you send it you can’t take it back.

HOST (OC):

And now you know that sending suggestive, or explicit pictures, is illegal. You see, texting can be dangerous.

END



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