Springfield About to Lighten-Up on ‘Sexting’ Teens

Some common sense from Springfield via the Chicago Trib:

Students under 18 who use computers or cell phones to share nude photos of their peers would earn little more than a scolding under a measure the Illinois Senate approved Thursday to address the “sexting” phenomenon.

Offenders would not face criminal charges, but would get juvenile court supervision that could result in counseling or community service. The bill doesn’t address youths who send or receive racy photos if they don’t distribute them.

“We’re not trying to prosecute them if they keep it between themselves,” said Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville, who got a similar bill through the Illinois House last week. “It’s when the third party is involved. That’s when you get the situations where so-and-so committed suicide because the picture got up everywhere.”

No, I do not think it is wise at all for young people to send nude pictures of themselves to each other, regardless of the medium they use. But face it: kids are stupid sometimes. They make incredible mistakes as juveniles, and that’s why the law treats them differently until they reach the incredible old age of 17 in Illinois, and even then law enforcement and prosecutors have discretion. The current law is insane. No adolescent should be marked for life as a registered sex offender for sexting.

I hope after this law passes, there will be reconsideration for those lads and lasses who have been condemned to a life of humiliation because of their stupid, but typically youthful, indiscretions.