Pornography is nothing new – in fact, it has been around for much longer than most people tend to give it credit for. Although I am not a fan of the subject, I do not see how one can prevent others from seeing naked photographs of others. This does not mean I advocate it but porn is nearly impossible to avoid, much less prevent. Even the filters on computers fail parents at times.
“Sexting”, or “sex texting” is becoming increasingly common, what with the advancements in technologies such as cell phone cameras. “Sexting” is usually when a naked picture of someone, usually the sender, is sent to another person.
A lot of girls send such pictures in order to try and get guys to like them. However, a picture like that tends to worm its way around the school, and before too long, nearly every student in a high school has seen the offensive photograph.
The sender is usually subject to much humiliation and often regrets their decision to send the picture. In the most drastic turn of events, several of these incidents have ended where the sender has committed suicide.
While the parents may bear some responsibility for teens, it is ultimately up to the teenagers to make the right choice. Unfortunately, this does not always occur. However, to charge a teenager barely older than a mere child with a crime for passing around photographs of themselves or others is a bit extreme.
I know there are helicopter parents out there who hover around their children every moment they can, and events such as “sexting” cause them to panic and want to sue everyone, from the school board to anyone in possession of the photographs. That is really quite unnecessary.
One should step back and ask: how does such a picture make its way around the school? As mentioned before, the first sender is usually the person. Several judges have gone so far as to say that the original sender, even if it is the photographed person is distributing underage pornography.
It is highly unlikely that the sender believes he/she is committing a crime, they are simply showing a part of themselves to someone else. While he/she knows that if the parents found out, they would be in trouble, this does not stop them.
He/she is under the impression that the private picture will stay private. “Sexting” is a relatively moronic act, but putting a teenager in jail and labeling him/her a sex offender for the rest of his/her life is unfair as it was a picture of himself/herself.
He/she knew exactly what he/she was doing. They may not have considered the consequences of such an action, but it does not require a court to punish the child.
For starters, the photographed person who distributed the picture originally is usually punished enough by sheer embarrassment, especially as things tend to get out of hand.
One wonders if that is simply punishment enough – especially as some students experience severe depression after such humiliating events.
As for the others who distributed the picture, they should not be held liable by the law, either. Perhaps demerits from the school, if they committed the act in school, would be a good punishment. It would definitely be wise to inform the parents of the situation and allow them to take control of punishment at home.
The others who forwarded the picture should be absolutely ashamed of themselves, but by no means are they really breaking a law. The person in the picture is their classmate, and their classmate is, typically, the one who sent the picture to begin with.
If the photographed person did not want others to see the dreaded picture, perhaps they should not have created it in the first place.
Students should be more informed about this phenomenon that is taking place. This would be a good way in order to attempt to prevent future incidents. And while I do agree that those who send the pictures on the phone should not be sent to jail for such a minor act, they do need to realize the consequences of their actions in other ways. Throwing children in jail is not the answer.