BETHALTO — Assistant State’s Attorneys Lauren Heischmidt and Samira Khazaeli will speak to sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from 8:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at Trimpe Middle School about the dangers of sexting. The presentation will provide students with statistics on teens and sexting and those criminal statutes and penalties associated with sexting and child pornography. Additionally, high-profile cases will be discussed with the students to provide them with real-life examples. The Illinois School Code provides for an Internet safety education curriculum to be utilized in Illinois schools.
In 2013, State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons announced the creation of a Children’s Justice Division within his office in an effort to better coordinate his office’s response to cases involving children. One of the goals in creating the division was to be more pro-active and communicate with children about important issues such as sexting. As a result, Gibbons began reaching out to local schools to teach children about the consequences of sexting.
Heischmidt and Khazaeli will talk to students in all grades throughout most of the day. They handle juvenile and adult cases within the State’s Attorney’s Office.