New Jersey Sending Sexting Teens a Message
You might not call teens who share naughty photos of themselves or other kids child pornographers. In many states though, that’s exactly what the law says. In New Jersey last week, the senate approved a bill providing alternative treatment for sexting teens.
- New Jersey the latest state to treat sexting teens on own terms
- In most states sending explicit pictures of minors is child pornography
- New sexting laws provide options for dealing with teen offenders
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States Separating Sexting from Child Porn
Lawmakers acted in response to the prosecution of a 14-year-old girl under the state’s child pornography laws. The new law would allow kids to undergo an education program on the dangers of sexting. New Jersey is just the latest state to treat minors who sext pictures of themselves differently from adults who share images of minors. Nevada passed a similar sexting law earlier in June. New York’s considering one too.
As Anthony Weiner showed us (literally), it’s not just kids who can’t help taking snaps of their body parts and sending them across the internet. When an adult sends pics of him or herself or another adult out there it’s just kicks/gross/dumb, take your pick. In all the states plus federal law sending lewd pictures of kids is what crosses the line.
While this may start as a harmless prank, it too often ends badly. Embarrassed or remorseful kids have killed themselves. Kids also have been blackmailed into more degrading behavior in what’s called sextortion. If combating ordinary teen sexting with child pornography laws is overkill, giving kids a wake-up call and a stern lecture seems about right. Check back tomorrow to find out what your state’s lawmakers have in store for sexting.
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