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Sexting a growing trend, but not locally

READ MORE: Sexting a growing trend, but not locally
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Parents, you may want to take a closer look at your kids cell phones. “Sexting” is sending nude, or partially nude, pictures via cell phones, and it's a growing trend among teens. Jesse Logan’s story had a very sad ending. She sent a nude picture to her boyfriend. The photo ended up being forwarded to her classmates. The Ohio teenager was harassed to the extent she was so miserable, she hanged herself. The typical sexting scenario involves a young couple who sends nude photos to each other as a special gift. But once they break up, those pictures can be used as leverage for revenge. "These images are being consensually sent out the first time around, and then there's no way to put the genie back into the bottle,” said DA Ben David. What begins as a private gift can spiral into public mortification that spreads through the halls and beyond as the images can be posted on the internet for the whole world to see. Humiliation is just the beginning. Teens may not realize the severity of their actions. Sending nude pictures of a minor fits the legal description of distributing child pornography, which is a felony. Even if the teen takes the picture of him or herself, it is considered manufacturing child porn, and everyone who the picture is forwarded to, can be charged with possessing child porn. They could also have to register as a sex offender. A recent survey found that one in five teens "sext". A few are getting caught; 18-year old Phillip Alpert of Orlando will be registered as a sex offender until he's 43 after forwarding nude photos of his ex-girlfriend. In Spotsylvania, Virginia two teenage boys are facing child pornography charges for cell phone pictures of five nude girls, including one elementary school aged girl. So is sexting an issue locally? Behavior specialist Hannah Griesbauer says not in New Hanover County Schools. "We don't want to wait until it does come across our desk before we do something about it. So we want to make sure that we're staying on top of the technology and we're kind of staying ahead of the game which can sometimes be very difficult because technology moves at a fast pace." District Attorney Ben David says sexting is a growing issue that shouldn't be ignored. "It happens in both New Hanover and Pender County, wherever there's young people and cell phones and the internet which is to say everywhere."

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Sexting

I believe our elementary female teachers are the ones we need to watch for "sexting". It appears that a female teacher is apprehended weekly somewhere in the US for some form of pedophilia,& "sexting" is typically involved.

Well said,

Well said, moontanman......for some reason, Americans especially are so uptight about anything pertaining to sex between a man and a woman, the human body and so horrified that their kids will learn how they got into this world. I simply don't understand it. I agree that it is absolute nonsense to prosecute a teenager for taking/receiving a nude picture. Who has been injured? How has anyone been hurt? Maybe embassased, but I have never known anyone to be prosecuted for embassasing someone. This thing is quite humorous to read about. Grown adults making such a big to-do about nothing. The only sad part are the real victims, the kids that get arrested for this.

SexTexting

"but I have never known anyone to be prosecuted for embassasing someone" My son was convicted for such circumstances; however, my son had a locked code on the cell phone and never sent it to anyone or downloaded it to the Internet. A single photo of him and his girlfriend. No drugs, no alcohol, no force. He will have to register for 25 years as a sex offender. He will be almost 50 when he will be off the registry. This requirement is due to the Adam Walsh Act, that tiers offenders based on 'offense', not by actual circumstances. This happened in 2006. He will be released from prison May 6th. Read my blog for more information.

It's sad

I think that what happened was very sad. I also think that this is why it is important that parents are involved in their children's lives and give them a proper foundation to stand on when it comes to things like this. I never was involved in this kind of thing because I was taught that that's not something you do..We need to make sure that everyone is doing what they can to support their children and give them a solid foundation so that we can prevent things like this happening, and if the prevention doesn't work, they are filled with enough love and support to get through a matter like this..

sexting

I keep hearing about sexting and the dire effects it has on the "victims", practically a fate worse than death! Give me a break! The worse thing about sexting is the authorities prosecuting a teenager for kiddie porn and being branded a pedophile for the rest of their life. Do we really want to ruin a teens life for a youthful indiscretion? Doesn't anyone remember Polaroid pictures? When I was young Polaroids were the "sexting" no one died from Polaroid sexting no one will die from this either. Yes some kids have used sexting to bully other kids but that is our tendency to bully people over things that are perceived to be embarrassing. Any kid who is different or vulnerable in some way is often bullied, sexting isn't some special evil. My kids are grown but if they were part of this sexting craze I would ask them do they really want to risk the pervert down the street adding their photo to his or her collection? Sexting should not be a crime, ruining kids lives over youthful indiscretion is simply wrong. It makes adults look like anal retentive prudes and then kids see TV and magazine adds that glorify and exploit teens sexually and nothing is done because it's done by adults. But when they try to show them selves as sexual they are prosecuted, we as adults are sending terribly mixed messages. Yes we should discourage sexting but to threaten teens with terrible punishments for something they are doing voluntarily as an exercise in teasing each other then we are the ones who are perverts not the kids. Tell your kids that by sexting they are risking their pics being in cyberspace forever and ask them if they really want to risk their photos being shown around school to all thier friends or becoming part of the Internet porn trade but don't threaten them with ruined lives or gross exaggerations of reality. Nudity is not going to kill anyone, lets go after real evil not made up evil.

I agree in theory, but....

I agree with most of what you say in theory, but I think maybe there's another aspect to this whole issue. We were all teenagers once, and yeah, we're all guilty of youthful indiscretions. While I never did the Polaroid thing, I understand the point you're trying to make about it. The thing is...I do think far more people today have cell phones than people once did Polaroid cameras. Cell phone usage and text messaging have become far more widespread than Polaroids ever did. Therefore, I think it's logical to conclude that what is sent in text messages has a much greater capacity to be spread around. Also, I agree that tagging a teenager as a sex offender is pretty harsh, but I think this issue goes MUCH deeper than just kids making poor choices based on feeling horny. It is a sad and disgusting fact that child pornography exists. I personally think that there should be zero tolerance for it, and if that is the case, it shouldn't matter WHO engages in it or what their age is. It's a slippery slope...if you allow some to get away with it, how long til others use that as an excuse to get out of child porn charges? I think people everywhere - teens included - need to understand that we will NOT tolerate child porn, PERIOD. Perhaps punishment could be a little more lenient for teens who make poor choices, such as being charged with it and having sex offender on their record, but having that automatically purged on their 18th birthday. Perhaps that would make them think twice about doing the same thing again. However, repeat offenders and those over the age of 18 should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I truly don't think the intent here is to punish teens. I think the root issue of this situation is child porn, and I hope you'll agree with me that child porn is something we just can't allow, no matter how old the offender or what their intentions were.

With Polaroids, the pictures

With Polaroids, the pictures hardly made it to nationwide distribution to include colleges and potential future employers. Would you want naked pictures of your teenage daughter plasetered on the internet for any sleezebag to see? The kids trade the pictures and then everything is fine until they break up and then one of them decides to text the picture to everyone or post it online. Then child pornographers pick it and continue to spread the picture. The law is what it is. If you have pictures in your posession of naked children under 18, it is child pornography, plain and simple. If you don't like the law, work to change or amend it but for right now, they are liable for arrest. If they cannot do without a naked picture, see if your polaroid still works. However, if they use a camera where the film would need developed, they can also expect a visit from the law as photo developers are required by law to report it.

Sexting

Well I would bet that with this story getting around it will be a new trend !