More Info on Teens and "Sexting"

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Info on Teens and "Sexting"

The stories of teens sending provocative photos of themselves via cell phones, and being surprised that they end up being distributed around the Internet continues. I've posted several times on this before (see my earlier post here and follow the other links on that post.) Again, these stories serve to underscore the need for parents to discuss this issue with their teens!

Remember the 15-year-old Ohio girl who faced child pornography charges for distributing naked cellphone photos of herself? There comes news that the charges were dropped, and the case will be dismissed if she completes a diversion program. But, most interesting of all, she revealed a typically teenage oh-by-the-way revelation during the hearing: Three of the male students who received her digital offerings also sent her back X-rated snapshots of themselves; now they might face charges, too.

That's not all in the way of teens being punished for "sexting," as it is now being called. Two teenage girls in Seattle were suspended from their cheerleading team after school officials discovered that they had taken nude cellphone photos of themselves that were circulated among students. One girl sent a topless photo to her then-boyfriend, which was "accidentally" leaked to other students; the other had a female friend take a nude snapshot, which also mysteriously ended up in other students' hands.

Now the girls' parents are suing the school, accusing "administrators of violating the girls' due process rights, needlessly sharing the photos with other school staff members and failing to promptly report the matter to police as possible child pornography," reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The school did not punish the students -- including a reportedly large number of football players -- who were in possession of the photos.

Source: Salon

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