Better talk to your boys about sexy texting, too!
We've posted a couple times on this blog about the alarming number of teens and 20-something girls who admit they've sent racy pictures of themselves to boys. And there was a splash in the news recently about the girl who committed suicide from the depression of sexting gone viral at her school.
Now comes news in Orlando of a 19 year old who must carry the "sexual predator" label over his head until he's 43 years old. When he was 18, he was mad at his 16-year-old ex-girlfriend and forwarded the nude pictures she'd sent him back when they were still lovey-dovey. He sent them to about 70 people, including her parents, grandparents and teachers.
It's a good wake-up call that boys have a responsibility in this, too. Sure, they can't help it if some girl sends racy pictures. But their next keystroke should be the delete button. And they also should know better than to send photos of themselves, as a bay area teen discovered.
Parents should be sure to talk to their kids about this issue. They should also have access to their kids' passwords and warn their children that they will be making frequent checks on hard drives, says Debra Haffner, author of What Every 21st-Century Parent Needs to Know. You can read more advice from her here.
That said, am I the only one who thinks the Orlando case seems a bit like overkill? Sure, what he did was wrong and he should be punished -- but until he's 43? I sure would hate for my teenage idiocy to follow me into middle age.
-- Sharon Kennedy Wynne