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(CNN) - Students at a Colorado high school exchanged hundreds of naked photos of themselves, prompting a felony investigation by police and the forfeiture of a football game because many players have been implicated in the sexting scandal, officials said.
VII. Sex Offender Laws and Child Offenders
It’s a negative self-fulfilling prophecy when you label a child a sex offender. You place that kind of stigma on a kid and they tend to live up, or rather down, to those expectations.
—Scott Smith, a therapist who treats children with sexual behavior issues 219
How many of you would like a poor decision you made at the age of 13 to follow you around for the rest of your life?
—Lacy J., a mother of a 13-year-old convicted as an adult for having sexual contact with his five-year-old cousin, speaking before a panel of Arizona state legislators 220
He knows nothing about sex. There is no way to explain [the accusation of sexual harassment] to him.
—Michael V., whose five-year-old son was accused of sexually harassing a kindergarten classmate after he pinched her buttocks 221
Teenagers and even young children who engage in certain sex-based conduct may find themselves subject to sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws. Some children are on registries because they committed serious sex offenses, such as forcibly raping a much younger child. Other children are labeled sex offenders for such non-coercive or nonviolent and age-appropriate activities as “playing doctor,” youthful pranks such as exposing one’s buttocks, and non-coercive teen sex.
Subjecting children to sex offender laws originally developed for adult offenders is both unnecessary from a public safety perspective and harmful to the child.
The juvenile justice system acknowledges that children who break the law should be treated differently than adults, with a greater emphasis on rehabilitation, and that forcing them to carry the burden of a public criminal record for childhood mistakes serves neither them nor the community. The records of children caught up in the juvenile justice system can be expunged or sealed, or entered into the public record as an “adjudication” when the offender reaches the age of majority.222 State sex offender registration laws, however, can trump juvenile offender laws. Children thus find themselves subject to the shame and stigma of being identified as sex offenders on online registries, in some cases for the rest of their lives. For example, Kevin A. was adjudicated at age 12 for performing a sex act on a child under 10. He told a journalist, “I was at school, at lunchtime, and one my best friends came up to me and asked me [about my name being found on the online sex offender registry after doing a Google search]. It sort of hit me off balance. It just gave me a feeling of I don’t want to be there, knowing they know what I did wrong.”
a reply to: nullafides
This...is positively ludicrous. We're talking teenagers. NON-adults. ie, people who do NOT have sufficient life experience to make decisions appropriately. Therefore, prone to making mistakes.
originally posted by: VoidHawk
They are kids, sending pictures to each other, so friggin what!!!
Why are people bothered by this?
If YOU think they deserve to be punished, then please state your reason.
Stupid does not = Crime!
originally posted by: IridiumFlareMadness
Teens know exactly what they're doing. And they know they can usually get away with it because adults make excuses for them. They are not oblivious little angels.
originally posted by: VoidHawk
a reply to: stormcell
In this case the op states that teenagers are exchanging pictures of themselves with each other. I think this is quite different as each teenager is fully aware and consenting.
originally posted by: nullafides
But...the reason I do think this is a bad thing for teens, is that it is conceivably something that could come back and bite them later on in life. Jobs, colleges, future relationships, etc.