The social workers were pleased to welcome speakers from the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office to Westbank Community School recently for a forum with our older students on the laws governing dating behavior and sexual activity. The Coroner’s Office developed this program in conjunction with the District Attorney’s office to address the shifting landscape in young people’s social lives, especially as it relates to technology and mood-altering drugs/alcohol. The students received factual information regarding the laws about consent for sexual activity, and were able to ask questions. The speakers did a lot to clear up misconceptions regarding how old a person must be to give consent, what state of mind a person must have to give consent, and what part age difference between prospective partners plays when sexual activity is being considered.
The speakers also addressed an issue that has been receiving a lot of attention lately, the sending and receiving of explicit images or videos by minors. The legal issues concerning child pornography were discussed, and many students were surprised to learn that they could be prosecuted for distribution of child pornography for texting their own nude images, not just resending images that they had received. The speakers also covered what steps a student should take if another person sends the student sexual content to protect him- or herself from being liable.
The social workers at Westbank Community School thank the Coroner’s Office for the presentation and for working with us to provide clear and factual information to our young adults. If parents are interested in this information, the Coroner’s Office has booklets and brochures available to the public at no charge.