The latest sexting scandal comes to us from Peters (ha ha!) Middle School outside of Pittsburgh, where police are examining kids’ cell phones for nude photos.
Like really: Why? It sounds like a giant swath of middle school kids and teens have naked pictures of themselves and others on their phones. Investigating these as if they are crime scenes doesn’t seem to make any more sense than reading kids’ diaries as if they are signed confessions. Can we instead decide that while naked selfies are a bad idea, the police should have nothing to do with investigating or prosecuting them?
The reasoning of Peters Police Chief Harry Frucht is impossible to even understand:
“If the photograph was taken by the individual, male or female between the ages of 12 and under 18, she’s as much a guilty party as the person who received it. She is not a victim in this case or he is not a victim,” he said.
Huh? So are they both perps? Are they going to be registered as sex offenders?
I have no idea if the authorities will go in that awful direction. But the fact that other young people have been prosecuted for the same behavior just means that young people are in danger of ruining their lives NOT because their naked pictures are out there — at some point, even employers won’t care, because these will be so common — but because the cops swooped in and declared the kids deviants.
How about we decide that taking nude selfies is not a crime, nor is possessing them if they were sent to you. Any state legislator with a kid or grandkid should be able to understand that this law will PROTECT rather than ENDANGER their children’s futures. – L.