At this point, we've heard a lot about teenagers and their propensity for seemingly nonstop sexting. Well, those crazy kids are at it yet again, this time as a naked snapshot of a 13-year-old girl makes the rounds of a New Jersey middle school. And the authorities aren't taking the sexts lightly, even in the wake of efforts to loosen the rules against teenagers and their wildly out-of-control hormones.
According to the Bergen Record, some students at Eisenhower Middle School in Wyckoff got into an argument, and, after confiscating their phones, teachers found the image and called the police. Now, the cops are warning the students that if they still have the images on their phones or computers by tomorrow, the could face child pornography charges. “If I was a kid in a school and I had that picture on my phone after May 19, I would be—and they should be—terrified,” Police Chief Benjamin Fox said, adding that if students are caught with the picture, they will be arrested and charged.
But as several parties have pointed out (see here and here), horny teenagers aren't necessarily criminals. Earlier this year, the New Jersey assembly voted unanimously to loosen the rules on teens and sexting, to avoid branding teenagers with a criminal record for their rest of their lives. The bill proposes enrolling teenagers caught sexting in an educational program instead of slapping them with criminal charges.
Fox said the police was called in to handle a similar incident at the school in 2008, though it remains to be seen how the school will react if the sexting bill goes into effect.