Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's overkill

We all want to protect our children from child predators, but as with every anti-crime effort, there is a point where zealous enforcement goes to far. That is the case in Greensburg, where a half-dozen Greensburg Salem High School students are facing child pornography charges. Did this gang of teens take pictures of themselves having sex with young children and post them on the Internet? No. Three girls, ages 14 and 15, took nude or semi-nude cell phone photos of themselves and sent them to three boys, ages 16 and 17. All of the people involved in this case are kids. What you have here are three slutty girls sending naked pictures of themselves to three very thankful guys. In a non-hysterical world, the photos would have been deleted from the guys’ cell phones and they would have gotten a good talking to, or a greater punishment if they spread the pictures around. The girls’ parents would have punished them severely for their stupidity. You could say that the guys should have immediately deleted the photos, but if you say that, you were never a typical teenage boy. We did not have cell-phone technology when I was in high school, but I can assure you that if a girl had snapped a Polaroid of herself in a state of undress and graced me with it, I would have guarded that snapshot as if it were the Holy Grail. It is a cliché, but kids will be kids, and kids will do stupid things. Some punishment is clearly in order, but in this case, that should be the domain of the parents or the school district. We shouldn’t turn a bunch of teenagers into criminals because their hormones got the best of them.



Blogger PRIguy said...

Let me state at the outset that I am in total agreement with Brant when it comes to over-punishing a group of hormone-crazed teens. If I'm not mistaken, the charges are felonies which makes the punishment even more severe. And like Brant, had I been privy to said pictures during my teens, he said, I was a normal teenage boy...

But there is another side to this story. I don't know how many of our fellow "VOTN" bloggers are parents of teens or are around teens much. Quite simply, it's a different world now.

My company employs a 17-year-old boy part time. He's a great kid: polite, respectful of adults, pleasant conversationalist, bright, motivated, has goals, and so on. I think the world of this fellow. He's a typical high school kid too: likes to party, loves the ladies and spends as much time with them as possible when he's not cruising in his pickup truck.

So, being a normal teen boy whom the gals find quite attractive, he is the recipient of quite a few of these sorts of photos Brant discusses. Now, that would be fine if the sender intended it only for this boy's eyes. But the kids send them back and forth to each other. Some of the girls he has photos of go to different schools and sometimes live in other counties or states. They frequently don't even know who the girls are.

The perceived innocence of the photo-sending gesture is lost in the high-tech world of information sharing. It's entirely possible that the photos could end up in the hands of a pedophile or murderer. It's too bad that it can't be as innocent as it might have been intended, but this is the world we live in now.

January 14, 2009 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Richard Dirt said...

yeah, that's dix...

p.s. brant, as a follow-up, did you hear about 'Aryan Nation' and little ;Adolph Hitler' Smith? They got taken away from their parents today, on unrelated charges.... I checked yr blog, but I didn't see new/followup story??

I know that the story really hit home to you, growing up in Germany, in the 1950s, after the war. We would really lurve to hear your thoughts, as your middle name is 'Aryan Nation'..., since we all hate the jews, I thought that this may be relevant...

(p.s. = troll)

January 15, 2009 at 2:22 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I'm planning an update on that. I was waiting to see if a couple of more details came out about why the children were taken. And, yes, times were hard back in the Fatherland after the war.

January 15, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Sigh! It's times like these that I wish I knew what the hell people were talking about :-)

January 15, 2009 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

They lost me on this one too, ellipses.

January 16, 2009 at 2:51 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

This story went national:

January 16, 2009 at 2:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is simlar to school districts' "Zero tolerance" policies that can't, or won't, distinguish between a platic butter knife and a machete.

Common sense is becoming a rare commodity in this world.

January 16, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

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