A new bill introduced in the California State Assembly could allow schools to expel students for sexting — i.e. sending sexually explicitly images of themselves to others.
Assembly Bill 2536, known as “pupil discipline and instruction: sexting” was introduced by Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park) on February 19, and would allow schools to suspend or expel students for sending inappropriate and nude images electronically “with the purpose or effect of humiliating or harassing a pupil.”
The bill describes inappropriate images as “a minor’s exposed or visible genitals, pubic area, or rectal area, or the nipple or areola of a minor female’s breasts” among other things.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Chau’s bill follows at least 20 other states with anti-sexting laws. Although cyberbullying and revenge porn laws already exist in California, this law is specific to sexting and would give administrators the option to expel or suspend students if they’re found sexting, the Times notes.
Chau reportedly explained that it provides school districts with a tool to discipline students whose actions are not necessarily considered criminally prosecutable.
However, the bill has not been seen favorably by everyone. The Times notes that the vice president of the American Assn. of University Women suggested expulsion was too harsh
In 2014, the Australian state of Victoria implemented a law that makes it illegal to “sext” without consent. A violation could result in up to two years in prison for the offender.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.