Abbotsford Police Department Youth Squad will launch the ‘It’s a NO’ campaign at all Abbotsford School District middle and secondary schools.
AbbyPD recognizes that sexting, sextortion and sexploitation continues to be a challenge faced by Abbotsford youth. The widespread use of technology has made it easy and common -for youth to be asked to send compromising photographs of themselves by both friends and strangers. Once out of the sender’s control, these photos have the potential to victimize both the sender and those who may receive the unwanted and possibly disturbing pictures and messages.
The “It’s a NO” presentation warns students of the repercussions of sending compromising photos, reinforcing the message that photos are “forever” -regardless of the sender’s intent. The presentation will also provide youth with an opportunity to upload the ‘It’s a NO’ meme to their phone/device, with instructions about how to respond with the meme rather than sending a photo of themselves.
Community Policing Sergeant Kelly Joiner states, “It is difficult to comprehend the amount of pressure that many of our youth experience through their digital presence. This campaign will provide any youth who receives an unwanted request to share inappropriate images with the option to send an immediately recognizable and definitive response – ‘It’s a NO.’”
Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools, notes, “At the Abbotsford School District, we continuously work to help our students understand the importance of digital citizenship and developing positive relationships with technology. We fully support the work of the
Abbotsford Police Department and look forward to collaborating with them on this initiative in the weeks ahead.”
Peer pressure is a large reason why youth send sexually explicit images. The “It’s a NO” campaign aims to educate students and provide them with a tool to respond to inappropriate electronic requests safely and definitively.