12/19/2011 11:34 am ET

Bensonhurst Junior High School Suspended 32 For Sexting

A junior high school in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn suspended 32 students last year, the most in any New York City school, for sending sexually suggestive messages and photos.

In total, the city issued 500 suspensions, with only 13 schools recording 10 or more suspensions.

Edward B. Shallow Junior High School's crackdown on the scandalous behavior follows a controversial ban instituted in 2010 prohibiting acts such as sexting and cyberbullying during both school and after-school hours.

Principal Brenda Champion of Edward B. Shallow praised the zero-tolerance policy and told The Post her school views the inappropriate messages "very seriously and addresses any infractions."

Back in June 2010, civil liberty groups and first amendment advocates around the city condemned the strict measures that sought to monitor student speech that included sexting outside of school hours.

Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Group criticized the policy as a "vague, undefined prohibition that impacts expression outside of school."

A parent told The Post that while she monitors her children's social media and cellphone activities, her busy working schedule prevents her from having complete oversight and therefore supported the school's efforts because it was better to be "safe than sorry."

However, legal experts contest the regulation rules and say the city's schools do not have the right to control student sexual behavior, unless educators either find nude photos or track behavior that carries a "direct and serious impact on the school environment."