Middle school sexting by 12-year-old
In January, 2010, a teacher took a 7th grade girl’s cell phone. On it were nude pictures of herself and a 12-year-old boy. At least one of the pictures was shown to classmates at Ben Franklin Middle School in Indiana.
Although criminal charges for an adult could bring a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison, this incident is expected to remain in the juvenile system. The students are facing child exploitation and child pornography charges. Coincidentally, the Indiana legislature is considering bills this session dealing with sexting. One bill, if passed, will make sexting a delinquent act giving the state’s juvenile courts exclusive jurisdiction.
Sexting is oftentimes meant as a joke or flirtation. However, it’s a dangerous act with no taking it back. One snapshot can go viral. Deleting the photo on your phone has no effect on its widespread distribution. Consider the tragic ending for Jessica Logan of Ohio in 2008. Jessica thought the photo she sent to her boyfriend would remain private. Instead it was sent around to hundreds of viewers in her town.