Sending lewd photos via text message, one especially lecherous part of the phenomenon known as “sexting,” is a foolish practice that has no place at the university.
While college is often known as a place of wild antics and raging hormones, it is important for students to use their heads and keep cell phones and bare skin separated.
A trustworthy significant other can become a malicious revenge machine almost overnight, so not even the most secure of relationships can be counted on to keep intimate photos in bounds. At the university, the practice would also violate the student code of conduct, said Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs.
That being said, it is entirely foolish for legal authorities to charge minors caught exchanging naked pictures with transmitting child pornography. Teens are known to break the rules from time to time, and if possession of alcohol and drugs can be wiped from an individual’s record after a certain age, so should a minor crime such as lewd pictures being shared amongst a group of minors.
As political science professor, James Riddlesperger said, “We all recognize that juveniles do stupid things.” And considering that the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy estimates that 20 percent of teens have admitted to participating in sexting, that would be a lot of sex-offenders.
While it is a growing problem, the only way to stop sexting from ruining lives and creating new legal constructs is to stop.
Some like to fantasize that everyone gets a second chance, but the truth is that one moment of indiscretion can haunt someone for the rest of his or her life. So when the phones are out, the clothes need to stay on.
Associate editor David Hall for the editorial board.