Ending the American panic on 'sexting'
Posted in: Child Protection&Online Safety at 24/06/2009 18:42
Text messages are forcing us to rethink the way we deal with the difficult issues that arise when teenagers get involved with sex; The Times addressed this touchy issue in its June 1 editorial, "Keeping an eye on 'sexting.' " Some in law enforcement have taken extreme measures against teens who send sexually explicit words and images using cellphones and Internet sites. Their solution? Treat these kids just like adults who traffic in pornographic pictures of children.
For instance, 19-year-old Philip Alpert will remain on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Sexual Offender Registry until he is 43 because he sent several dozen people a nude picture of his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend -- a photo she sent to him first. In Pennsylvania, three girls, 14 to 15, sent three boys, 16 to 17, naked pictures of themselves. All six kids were charged with child pornography.