GREENCASTLE -- Sexting, what it is and the consequences of it for students, is the topic of the Putnam County Chaplaincy conference set for Oct. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Walden Inn Conference Center.
Every year the Chaplaincy Board holds an annual conference. This year, the board decided to open the conference to the local communities in hopes of dealing with some of the key issues facing Putnam County youth.
A recent national survey showed that 22 percent of teen girls and 18 percent of teen boys have sent sexually explicit messages or pictures over a cell phone.
"With the advancement in cellular technology and the accessible cell phone industry it is no surprise that preteens, teenagers, and young adults are testing this new form of interaction," said Putnam County Hospital Chaplain Steve Williams.
"It is becoming a more prevalent issue and we need to help to inform parents, teachers and adults on what sexting is and how to deal with it," he said.
Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Carter will lead a discussion panel during the conference.
"Thousands of children are engaging in the practice of 'sexting,'" said Carter. "We want to inform the public of this issue and provide them with possible solutions."
In March, a Nineveh teen was charged in connection with a party where someone secretly taped a teen girl engaging in a sex act, which was then sent to classmates via text message.
"Sexting and other negative behaviors are a community problem," added Williams, "We want the community to be a part of the solution."
Area youth-based organizations will also be in attendance to offer support and information regarding services that are available in the community.
Each organization in attendance will have the opportunity to present a short, live "commercial."
"The local youth groups, organizations and service groups will be able to speak with parents, teachers, and counselors about alternative solutions," said Williams.
Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter and Assistant Chief of Police Brian Hopkins have been invited to serve on a discussion panel with Carter. A question and answer period will conclude the evening's program.
The conference is a free event and is open to the public. Reservations are required. Please call 655-2627 for a reservation.
If you would like to attend the event or are a part of an organization that would like to host a table with information, please contact 655-2583, ext. 2 by Oct. 19.