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Are Teen ‘Sexting’ Penalties at School Too Lax?

School districts in New Jersey have given students extra time to delete nude photos rather than involve police.

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo

An ever-increasing problem in the teen world has come in the form of “sexting,” or sending pornographic photos and illicit, sexual messages through cell phones.

Most recently, in the Bridgewater-Raritan School District, nude selfies were discovered floating around amongst the student body. Rather than involving police and pressing charges, the district superintendent, Cheryl Dyer, gave the students a couple of days to delete the images from all electronic devices.

Possession or distribution of nude images could ultimately lead to child pornography charges, even if it is a minor who is committing the alleged crime.

Dyer was the second New Jersey school chief in less than a month to give students a few days to right the wrong rather than involve police.

Is that the right move to make? Should students have to deal with criminal implications in this arena or be given the benefit of the doubt and some extra time to correct the issue?

salah badran June 11, 2014 at 07:14 PM
Drear westwood mom,, I am glad you brought this up.. My daughter 14 was arranging with her friend for my wife is to take them for a birthday party, after saying bye while on face time ,,she took a pic. of my daughter while changing into jeans (in her under wear ,bottom half,, ,,when the (friend) got in the car ,the girl apologized for sneaking a photo with out permission ,,my daughter deleted the pic.but the girl had already sent it to a boy where the boy showed it to many friends,, the school called me & promised to handle it ,,until today,, I have not heard of what happened to the friend & the boy,, still waiting for a call back ,, I don't wanna embarrass our community school ,,, my daughter was extremity upset,, to make her feel better ,,I said its just like a bathing suit anyway ,, but it was very upsetting that a boy had to be the one to get it ,,
Martin B. Brilliant June 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Three generations ago, when comic books were banned from schools, we had a schoolyard chant that went: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me!" We ought to update that: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but bits will never bite me!" Let's have some common sense: a cellphone is not a weapon.
Wwe Tensai June 12, 2014 at 10:11 AM
The school is entitled to some control over the learning environment in its building. Students are to keep cell phones in purses or lockers during the day. If its out, teacher takes it,, it goes to the office and kiddo can get it at the end of the day. Not too difficult and the students learn that sometimes you have to follow someone else's rules. It won't kill you.
John Wayne June 16, 2014 at 07:09 PM
That depends on the school. Some schools are very lax and look the other way on to many issues including this one. Yes, The schools should get more involved what is going on during the school day. Once you allow this to happen for one group of kids you have to continue to do it for all the kids. You can't pick and choose who you want to call the police on. The police should always be called if something like this is going on during school hours. If it is happening after hours then the parents and the police should be involved. To many schools look the other way for only certain kids and it is not right. That is where the law suits come in.
Rick Ricky June 17, 2014 at 08:21 PM
Let me guess. Bridgewater/Raritan is listed as a top school by someone. Now you know why? All these top schools lie by not reporting the crap that goes on.

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