I’ve had family visiting and have been a bit out of the loop. They left this morning, so I finally settled into the divot on the couch formed by my unhealthy, red meat-eating behind to catch up on the news this morning. Instead, I was subjected to what seemed like 3 hours worth of hand wringing over the most pressing issue of our time, apparently:
Kids and Sexting.
It was the topic du jour (that’s fancy foreign talk. Pretty good for a cracker, yes?) on Fox news even. Oh, the children! Sexting their little fingers off! What are we going to do? Woe is us! Then there was some back and forth about the laws being too harsh; some kids are labeled sex offenders for life, yada yada (my mind wandered off at this point, as I started imagining Chris Hanson, from Dateline’s To Catch A Predator, creepily reading from a kid’s cell phone).
I would have blown it off completely, but, if the constant news is any indication, I’m pretty sure that it’s on its way to becoming a full-blown Crisis ™. Which means that Michelle Obama will get involved somehow and I really don’t have the stomach for seeing her boob belt traipsing around all over. I also soon discovered that some states are contemplating legislation to address the crux of this most earth-shattering issue. No, really. I wish I was kidding. Others are rambling on about counseling and education (mandatory, natch) being the proper fix:
Connecticut is one of at least fifteen states considering legislation to address teen sexting. State Representative Rosa Rebimbas introduced a bill that would create a lesser category of punishment for minors who transmit child pornography electronically. ..
Make no mistake though, she doesn’t plan on letting kids off with a slap on the wrist if punishment is warranted. “The misdemeanor would be something that would stay on their record, absolutely and I think the important point in that is to hold minor children accountable for their actions because there are true victims as a result of these acts,” Rebimbas explained….
Not everyone thinks more laws are the right solution to the problem though. Connecticut Victim Advocate Michelle Cruz says education is key. “I think we’re in a society where a lot of times what we try to do is we see an issue, we want to resolve it so we think legislation. Sometimes the best answer is education, not codifying certain behaviors,” says Cruz. Cruz believes creating a law that defines teen sexting as a crime and is targeted to put them in the criminal justice system is not the way to go. “I feel that carving a specific section for an age specific group of individuals for pornography is dangerous. Now we’re codifying sexting and we’re saying to kids, this is pornography and we’re identifying it by creating a law to penalize them,” she said. Cruz advocates mandatory education to teach teens about the potential ramifications of sexting.
Enough. Even though I’m not some expert legal mind, nor a policy wonk, I do have a handle on that whole For The Children ™ thing, being a Mom and all. It does not require sweeping legislation, for goodness sake. Nor mandatory “education” at the indoctrination facilities known as public schools. Since I’m kind and thoughtful, I’ll offer my solution, free of charge (let’s see the government do that!):
Dear Hand Wringers, there is an easy way to stop teen “sexting”. Stop buying cell phones for children.
If you, for whatever reason, feel the need to indulge your child and you end up buying them a cell phone, then, you know, be a parent. Monitor their phone. Do not choose a texting plan. If you are all hippie-like and thinking “oh, that’s spying! It’s an invasion of their privacy” try to realize that you are the parent. And you are paying the bill. It’s your phone, not theirs. In fact, you own them. They can have privacy when they have their own home.
While you are at it, get off my lawn. There. Mommy made it all better, once again.
(Cross-posted at my bloggity blog)