Tuesday, September 06, 2016

In a Massachusetts middle school, sexting leaves an excruciating trail behind for years

Jessica Contrera has a big story ("And Everyone Saw It") in the Washington Post today about a sexting scandal in the middle school system in Worcester, MA.

A boy in eighth grade convinced several girls to send him indecent selfies.  Although he was “caught”, it has taken years to resolve his case.  In the meantime, the photos leaked out over the years, with principals having to call the girls’ parents to involve them.

Massachusetts, despite its progressive reputation, hasn’t updated its child porn laws for the reality of today’s technology. So prosecutors try to plea bargain the charges down to misdemeanors with community service and probation, but that is difficult and painful, involving hours of professional counseling.

Should middle-school kids have smart phones in school away from their parents?  Probably not. Kids of this age are just not biologically brain-mature enough to grasp the consequences of what can happen.