Dreadful. Degrading. Disturbing.
It wasn't too long ago that the high school in my rural city was rampant with sexting teens. . That is sending self-nude pictures and the use of obscenity. Of course, as you can probably tell, I am against that. What I find more disturbing are the adults that think its cute.
It is illegal. A crime. It can result in state felony charges. Including obscenity. In the United States, it is illegal to carry lewd pictures of minors. I Utah, it can result in state felony charges. See what your state has to say here.
A Handout from my teen's school:
Teen Sexting Tips
It's Illegal: Don't take or send nude or sexually suggestive photos of yourself or anyone else. If you do, even if they're of you or you pass along someone else's--you could be charged with producing or distributing child pornography. If you keep them on your computer or phone you could be charged with possession. If they go to someone in another state (and that happens really easily), it is a federal offense.
Non-legal Consequences: Then there's the emotional (and reputation) damage that can come from having intimate photos of yourself go to a friend who can become an ex-friend and send it to everyone you know. Not only can they be sent around; they can be distributed and archives online for people to search for pretty much forever.
Not Just on Phones: Sexting can be done on any media-sharing device or technology--including email and the Web. Teens have been convicted for child porn distribution for emailing sexually explicit photos of each other.
Many Causes: In some cases, kids are responding to peer pressure in a form of cyber bullying or pressure from a boyfriends or girlfriend (thy break up, and sometimes those photos get sent around out of revenge.) Sometimes it's impulsive behavior, flirting or even black mail. It is always a bad idea.
Parents: Talk with your kids about sexting in a relaxed setting. Ask them what they know about it (they may not have heard of the term, so "naked photo-sharing" works, too). Express how you feel in a controversial, no n-confrontation away. A two-way dialog can go a long way toward helping your kids understand how to minimize legal, social and reputation risks.
The bottom line: Stay alert when using digital medial. People aren't' always who they seem to be, even in real life, and sometimes they change and do mean things. Critical thinking about what awe upload well as download is the best protection.
- If your children have sent any nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves, make sure they stop immediately. Explain that they're at risk if been charged with producing and distributing child pornography. If they've received a nude or semi-nude photo, make sure they haven't sent it to anyone else.
- Either way, the next most important hing is to have a good talk. Stay calm, be supportive and learn as much as you can about the situation. for example, see if it was impulsive behavior, teen 'romance' thing or form of harassment.
- Consider talking with other teens and parents involved, based on what you've learned.
- Some experts advise that you report the photo to your local police, but consider that, while intending to protect your child, you could incriminate another--and possibly your own child. That's why it's usually good to talk to the kids and their parents first. If malice or criminal intent is involved, you may want to consult a lawyer, the police, or other experts on the law in your jurisdiction, but be aware of the possibility that child pornography charges could be filed against anyone involved.
- If a sexting photo arrives on your phone, first, do not send it to anyone else (this could be considered distribution of child pornography). Second: talk to a parent or trusted adult. Tell them the full story so they know how to support you. And don't freak out if that adult decide to talk with the parents of others involved--that could be the best way to keep all yo you from getting into serious trouble.
- If the picture is from a friend or someone you know, then someone needs to talk to that friend so that he or she knows sexting is against the law. You 're actually doing the friend a big favor because of the serious trouble that can happen if they police get involved.
- IF the photos keep coming, you and a parent might have to speak with your friend's parents, school authorities or the police.
Do you have teenagers? What do you think about checking up on them? What if they were sexting? That kids will be kids, right? What do you think?
Information provided by safeteens.com
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