Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bloomberg – Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial on Teen Sexting Was an Uneducated and Vindictive Rant

Dear Margaret Carlson, 

I have read your recent OpEd that was picked up by the Richmond Times Dispatch (my local newspaper).  Sexting: Teens trade naked selfies for mug shots, April 12, 2014

I will first address the portions of your piece where I agree with you (#1 and #2).
  1. Today’s teenagers who have grown up with Internet access, social media websites and electronic devices that take photos and videos do not think before they take an image, post and share it. 
This is because the human brain is not fully developed until we are in our 20’s so teenagers and young adults do not consider the outcome or consequences of their sporadic actions. Their “urge to share” as you mentioned is not because they are reckless, it’s because that portion of the brain is not fully developed.  

Children are not small adults and should not be treated as such by our criminal justice system, but it seems you think they should. 

  1. Parents should be much more involved in what their children are doing on-line and off-line. That includes adding parental controls to devices for minors.
Parents are not their children’s friends; they are their parents and need to take that role seriously.  

In your piece you referenced the recent Fairfax, VA sexting case and an Illinois case. 

I have been following the Fairfax, VA case closely.
·        Local teens investigated for “sexting” , April 8, 2014
·        ACLU questions validity of massive child pornography investigation in Louisa, April 4, 2014
·        Authorities bust massive teen sexting spree, over 100 teens involved, April 4, 2014

In 2014 alone we’ve had two other cases make the news here in Virginia.
·        Chesterfield youth could face child porn charges for ‘sexting’, March 14, 2014
·        James City teen's tweet a criminal act or poor judgement? February 6, 2014

Now I’m going to address where you ran completely off-the-tracks with your OpEd.