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Legislation To Punish Teens For 'sexting'.  
User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7359 posts, RR: 85
Posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3018 times:
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This has to be the dumbest thing I've read in a while coming out of the mouth of Congress. Former Mayor now Rep. Kirk Watson introduced the bill no less. What are you thoughts on allowing Congress to tell you how to raise your kids (essentially)?   



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39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1404 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

They should better draw up a bill requiring "real" SexEd (i.e., not abstinence only) in junior high. I guess learning about contraceptives would be more efficient in reducing teen pregnancies   ...


WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4786 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2961 times:

The law is interesting but misguided. Parents should not be punished for the Kids actions. The intent of the law is good, but the penalty and enforcement section is a bit lacking.


Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20334 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

Let me get this straight: a GOP Mayor and GOP AG introduce an invasive bill that regulates the private behavior of citizens...

...and then they complain that government is too big and intrusive.



User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2921 times:

What a load of bull. What happened to freedom of speech?

I hate to break it to the ultra-conservative-prudish-hard-core bible-thumping-right-wingers but kids are more and more sexual nowadays, not that I agree with it, but the way I see it there's no stopping it.


User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7359 posts, RR: 85
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2901 times:
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Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 4):

Simply threaten your child with their life and take their phone away from them. Problem solved.   

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):

The state Senator who introduced the bill is a democrat.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2898 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 5):

Simply threaten your child with their life and take their phone away from them. Problem solved.

Seriously. I swear we're on the fast track to becoming a nanny state   


User currently onlinembmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2612 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2896 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
The intent of the law is good...

How is the intent of the law a good thing? This seems like the impish kind of thing teens have always done in one way or another. Why do you think it's a good thing to try to regulate it?


User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6162 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 2893 times:
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They kids today... Getting naked pictures of your girlfriend is too easy now. These kids don't know how easy they got it. Back in the day you had to go and use a Polaroid camera....


On a more serious note there is a real issue here that many of you may not see. As a teacher I have had to deal with this stuff first hand and can see how destructive it can be. I have had girls and boys sext each other. Then they break up and the photos get all over the school. Now you have dirty photos of some girl or guy or both on the phones of hundreds of kids. Sure they shouldn't have done it to begin with, but a lot of kids don't think that way.

There was an article in the NEA magazine (I don't always agree with the union, but I do read the free magazine I get, as I am forced to be a member) about an assistant principal in Texas who had taken some cell phones from students who had been using them in class. They were locked in his desk and the parents of the girl pressed charges against those who had received the sexts for possession of child pornography. The principal was arrested right along with a bunch of teens because he had the phones in his desk. Even though he wasn't in the union the union and school district came to his defence and the charges were dropped.

The possession of child pornography and sexting can be a HUGE deal to educators and anyone else.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7557 posts, RR: 23
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
a GOP Mayor and GOP AG introduce an invasive bill that regulates the private behavior of citizens...

With all due respect Doc, how about reading the WHOLE article before making such conclusions; this particular item and case crosses BOTH political parties.

Second paragraph of the article (Bold emphasis added):
The measure, introduced by State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), would make sexting a Class C misdemeanor requiring a court appearance for the teenaged violator, and would allow a judge to 'sentence' his or her parent to participate in an education program on sexting's long-term harmful consequences.

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
The law is interesting but misguided. Parents should not be punished for the Kids actions. The intent of the law is good, but the penalty and enforcement section is a bit lacking.

That can be open for debate, since most teenagers are indeed minors; parents are technically responsible for their kids' actions. It's kind of like a corporation is responsible for the actions of its employees. One needs to remember that, in most instances, it is THE PARENTS that buy and provide the smart phone devices (or equivalent) for their kids that enables them to sext images so to speak. A simple, less government-intrusive measure would be for the parents to STOP buying these devices for their kids. IMHO, teens do NOT NEED to have these devices in their possession. A cell phone with limited capabilities, I can see teens having (since pay phones are more scarce now than they were when I was a teenager); everything else, is unnecessary fluff which can become very damaging if improperly used (sexting).

Case and point: my 2 teenage nieces (one 15, the other 13) don't have smart phones (or ones capable of sending images), and I'm sure my brother is glad because it's one less headache for him and his wife to worry about. Raising teenagers in and of itself is already a challenge.

Additional exerpt:

Currently, teens engaged in 'sexting' can be charged with possessing or trafficking in child pornography. That offense carries the potential of decades of prison time, plus the requirement that the teen register for the rest of his or her life as a sex offense pervert.

"This bill's legal provisions ensure that minors are punished for their improper behavior, but do not face life altering criminal charges," Watson said.

The law would also allow teens who successfully adhere to the court's requirements, which includes completing an ‘education program’ about the consequences of sexting, to petition to have the misdemeanor offense expunged from their records.


It sounds like on, one hand, they're reducing the current penalty; but they're expanding it in another in terms of parental involvement.

A reminder (since the thread title doesn't specify it) that this new law will only apply in TEXAS. Other states have different laws and penalties for such.



"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2867 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 2):
The law is interesting but misguided. Parents should not be punished for the Kids actions. The intent of the law is good, but the penalty and enforcement section is a bit lacking.

Bingo.

Disclaimer: I'm not a parent, so I know how to parent better than just about anyone.

This is just ridiculous. You don't charge the parent when the kid gets busted for reckless driving or worse. Sexting should be no exception. Re: punishing the kids--while I don't think sexting should be subject to a child pornography charge or really any charge at all (after all, we don't charge teenagers who fool around with each other with "indecent liberties" or "lewd and lascivious conduct" or whatever they call it), I think the willful dissemination of those pictures to third parties should still be prosecutable. Example: Sue sends hoo-hah pics to Johnny, who forwards them to the football team. Johnny should be in big time trouble. Sex offender status? Probably not. Expunged from record at a later date? Maybe. But I think there should be legal consequences for that.

Parents need to have the hard conversations with their kids. The relative anonymity of modern communications IMHO isn't helping at all--kids who might not have initiated sexual contact before now have an easy, lower-"risk" gateway to do so. The only way to really quell this starts with teaching good responsible behavior and positive self-esteem from day one. Much like sex, drugs and reckless driving, they need to realize the gravity and potentially negative consequences of sexting.

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 4):
I hate to break it to the ultra-conservative-prudish-hard-core bible-thumping-right-wingers

Why are you bringing that into the equation when it didn't factor into this article at all? It has nothing to do with being "prudish." No self-respecting parent of any creed or political persuasion wants their kid exposing themselves to everybody.

Sex to teens is like a car, except EVERYONE's got the equipment for sex. As long as healthy attitudes, caution and respect for sex are maintained, just like a vehicle, it can be a wonderful thing. Put it in the wrong hands or make split-second rash decisions and you can devastate the rest of your life. It's not so much that sexting leads to actual sex (which it can) but the problem is this: Once you put something, anything on the Internet...it's there for good. Once you give it away, it's gone...it's not obliterated.

You can't punish parents for the boneheaded actions of their children. Setbacks for children don't always evolve from a failure of parenting. I like the Ronald Reagan "trust but verify" approach to this problem. I think all teen cell phone account data (including text and picture messages) should be readily available to the parents. Kids need privacy and trust, of course, but parents need latitude to do their own due diligence to crack down on this.

I wouldn't even mind something like a "cell phone certification" plan for kids. Teach them proper phone use, give them the guidlines, outline the consequences if they break the rules. Make them sign a contract with the parent and maybe even the cell phone provider before they are allowed cell phone privileges. Give the kids the understanding that, while respecting their right to privacy, their parents can look through their phone data at any time.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6843 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2857 times:

Bringing the full force of the law to bear does seem rather heavy handed for what is seen, perhaps, as just messing about... until the full impact hits home when "dearly beloved" sends your pic to all his mates.... by which time you feel like cr@p and then the law comes knocking on the door. But, does the US have alternative systems to address this problem?


Over here, CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) has brought out a video about the hazards.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12391723



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 2827 times:

Quoting oly720man (Reply 12):
by which time you feel like cr@p and then the law comes knocking on the door.

Frankly those girls (or guys) too stupid to realize that their pictures could be used as blackmail or could very well end up in the wrong hands very much deserve all the shame, embarrassment and legal issues they'll have coming their way.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 7978 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2797 times:

Hold on... this bill seems a way better idea than the current system! Look at what happens now:

"Currently, teens engaged in 'sexting' can be charged with possessing or trafficking in child pornography. That offense carries the potential of decades of prison time, plus the requirement that the teen register for the rest of his or her life as a sex offense pervert."

I agree with most of yall on not punishing the parents and all, but this is a lot more fair than charging the two 17 1/2 year olds with child pornography !

Just my 2c...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8278 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 9):
A simple, less government-intrusive measure would be for the parents to STOP buying these devices for their kids.

   Why is what makes the most sense so hard to do? Kids don't need smart phones - period.

On the other hand, you have to take away the webcams too. A quick perusal of any free porn site makes that abundantly clear. Even digital cameras are culprits - how many of us had HS girlfriends who e-mailed dirty pictures to us? Is it bad if I kept them? LOL

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 13):
Frankly those girls (or guys) too stupid to realize that their pictures could be used as blackmail or could very well end up in the wrong hands very much deserve all the shame, embarrassment and legal issues they'll have coming their way.

Unfortunately I'm, inclined to agree...until it's my daughter. Then her head and the guy's will be on a plate...LOL



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20334 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2789 times:

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 9):

With all due respect Doc, how about reading the WHOLE article before making such conclusions; this particular item and case crosses BOTH political parties.

My bad. I'll just join in on HMO's nanny state complaint.

Yes, sexting=bad. "Getting tough" on this problem (or any problem) never works.


User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4786 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2756 times:

Quoting mbmbos (Reply 7):
How is the intent of the law a good thing? This seems like the impish kind of thing teens have always done in one way or another. Why do you think it's a good thing to try to regulate it?

The intent of the law is to replace the current practice of charging kids with child porn violations and ruining their life. So why do you read into it that it is attempting to regulate them?

The impish thing these kids are doing is broadcasting private messages within a public medium that allows for misuse by 3rd parties. This is far beyond simple stupid messing around done by kids in private.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinefxramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7359 posts, RR: 85
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2728 times:
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Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
Yes, sexting=bad.

Why? What is wrong with a teen couple, engaged in a relationship, that want to send each other dirty texts. I think the govt. needs to mind it's own damn business and worry about the million other things that precede this 'problem'.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20334 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2712 times:

Quoting fxramper (Reply 18):

Why? What is wrong with a teen couple, engaged in a relationship, that want to send each other dirty texts. I

Because of what happens when they break up and then the boy sends out all sorts of naked pictures of the girl. Happens all the time.


User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8278 posts, RR: 26
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2700 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Because of what happens when they break up and then the boy sends out all sorts of naked pictures of the girl.

Perhaps the femme contingent needs to strike back and start requesting dirty videos from their boyfriends as insurance - so that once things go awry they can counter by putting their guy's disappointing package all over the internet as well.



If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20334 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2686 times:

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 20):

Perhaps the femme contingent needs to strike back and start requesting dirty videos from their boyfriends as insurance - so that once things go awry they can counter by putting their guy's disappointing package all over the internet as well.

That happens, too.

Bottom line is that, like sex, like drugs, etc. EDUCATION is going to do a lot better than "Get tough."

"Get tough" NEVER works, especially not on teenagers, because they all figure that the consequence won't happen to them.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8760 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2669 times:

Quoting falstaff (Reply 8):
The possession of child pornography and sexting can be a HUGE deal to educators and anyone else.

If the principal didn't know that, then he or she is the biggest idiot ever.


User currently onlinembmbos From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2612 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2634 times:

Quoting casinterest (Reply 17):
This is far beyond simple stupid messing around done by kids in private.

Kids do lots of stupid things that have long lasting consequences. Always have.

Social stigma based on a moment's bad judgment is something a wise parent will discuss with their children. Having said that, however, social mores about, say, nudity are changing radically. In this day and age, flashing a bit too much flesh is something we've seen a lot of and is not the stigma it once was. Sure, sexting will "stay around forever" but it used to be teen pregnancy would tarnish a young girl's for life forever. Even though it continues to be a setback it certainly doesn't label a girl as the village slut like it once did. Likewise with sexting. Things change. This isn't the biggest problem facing teens by any means.


User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6162 posts, RR: 29
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 2623 times:
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Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 15):
how many of us had HS girlfriends who e-mailed dirty pictures to us? Is it bad if I kept them? LOL


None, we didn't have the Internet in high school. If you wanted a dirty photo of your girlfriend you better have had a Polaroid camera.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
If the principal didn't know that, then he or she is the biggest idiot ever.


He didn't even know that the kid's phones had those images. The phones were taken away for use during class, not because what was on them.

The phone policy at my work (school) is off and out of sight. Ist offense is teacher takes away phone the student can pick it up at the end of the day. 2nd offense the student gets the phone taken away, plus a day of in school suspension and mom or dad has to come and pick up the phone. 3rd offense, the phone stays locked in the AP's office until the end of the term, then the student gets their phone back. Most of the time there isn't a third offense, but every year there is are several phones locked in the AP office. If the kid is using his phone in class the teacher or AP isn't looking on their phone to see everyone they called or looking at every photo on the thing, he just takes it. If the cops trace the text to see where it was sent and everyone who has possession of that text gets in trouble with the law, why should the AP get into trouble? It should be the kids who's phone it it.

There was a case in Michigan where a 13 year old girl was charged with producing and distribution of child porn because she took a naked photo of herself and texted it to her boyfriend, who then sent it around the school. That girl had to register as a sex offender and will have that stigma for a long time. A stupid thing that she did for sure, but she shouldn't have to pay for it for probably the rest of her life.



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 20334 posts, RR: 59
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2536 times:

Quoting falstaff (Reply 23):

There was a case in Michigan where a 13 year old girl was charged with producing and distribution of child porn because she took a naked photo of herself and texted it to her boyfriend, who then sent it around the school. That girl had to register as a sex offender and will have that stigma for a long time. A stupid thing that she did for sure, but she shouldn't have to pay for it for probably the rest of her life.

There's also the legal principle that you don't prosecute the protected class. If the idea of child porn laws is to protect the kids, then you don't prosecute the kids.


25 Flighty : I agree, but legally, that is the consequence. Maybe we should change the law if we don't feel it should be enforced. Probably not even then. What ar
26 casinterest : It's not the biggest problem, but a big problem is when they get charged with child pornography for it. That is a felony, I stand by my point from ea
27 mbmbos : Then let's change the child pornography laws instead of legislating teen behavior.
28 Post contains images AKiss20 : I would also like to point out that this title and the article is misleading in defining "sexting" as necessarily sending naked pictures. Sexting refe
29 PHLBOS : Many states (including Texas at present) would disagree with you. Earlier-posted exerpt from the article: Currently, teens engaged in 'sexting' can b
30 Flighty : Yup but I think our friend was saying the adult journalists do not know the correct definition of the word, which was made up by teenagers. So that w
31 Aaron747 : Well the digital cameras sucked in the late 90s I know that much - had some developed rolls of film as well. No Polaroid required. Adults and teenage
32 PHLBOS : While true, it's the LEGAL definition of the word that's the ultimate decider here. If laws regarding such activity (including penalties and so forth
33 falstaff : I know... I had a digital camera I bought in 1997. It was $450 bucks and would be .75 megapixel today. It took four AAs and drained them very fast. I
34 AKiss20 : That is exactly what I was trying to say. As my generation is the one to create "sexting" I just thought I would share what sexting means to us. Is s
35 Post contains images Maverick623 : If you do have them still, you are in possession of child pornography. Just so ya know I knew people who were "sexting" back when you were 9. And bef
36 planespotting : Unfortunately, this will never happen. Politicians are not willing to touch regulations like these with a 10 foot pole, as other politicians and inte
37 Post contains links PHLBOS : Here's one definition source (in this case, I refrained from using Wikipedia) from USLegal.com: http://definitions.uslegal.com/s/sexting/ Exerpt (Bol
38 PanAm788 : This thread basically sums up what is wrong with America. The title implies that teens are going to get punished for a teen activity and immediately p
39 Aaron747 : Our local drugstore had a 70-something woman for the photo processor, so hopefully it was only her, haha. Ouch...kinda changes how I think of my "ex-
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