April 1, 2009
Posted: 12:37 PM ET
NEW YORK–“Sexting” is a new word for a new crime: kids taking cell phone pictures or videos of themselves and sending them to a friend are increasingly finding themselves accused of possessing and distributing child pornography. Kids face five or 10 years in prison in some cases, and registering as sex offenders for the rest of their lives.
In Session anchor Lisa Bloom
Have we gone mad? Sure, kids should be discouraged from doing this, mainly because once those pictures are out there, they are out there forever and can be used to humiliate them later.
But child porn laws were intended to protect kids from exploitive adults. We hand new technology to kids without educating them about the consequences of misuse, and what do we expect? Adolescents are naturally curious about their own bodies. Give them camera phones, and 20 percent are going to take nude or seminude pictures of themselves, according to one study. (The number is as high as one third for adults.)
The recession has left police without funding for rape kits and left crime labs without funding to perform DNA tests in murder cases. What a waste of resources to prosecute kids for being knuckleheaded adolescents.
Parents, please educate your kids about the misuse of technology. If they act like idiots, take away their phones and computers. They will scream, they will rant, their heads will explode, but they’ll get the message.
Prosecutors, let’s focus on real violent criminals. And let’s all remember what we did as kids. Let he who never Xeroxed his butt cast the first stone.
–Lisa Bloom, In Session anchor
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