Did you know that if you take naked photos of yourself and then email them to someone, those naked photos will almost definitely be seen by people other than the person you intended to show them to? It’s true. This might seem like common sense to most adults (although Blake Lively and Rihanna would beg to differ), but in the hormone-addled mind of a high school student, “bad ideas” and “awesome, fun ideas” often end up getting sorted into the wrong boxes.
In an effort to teach kids cyber-boundaries, New York lawmakers introduced something called the Cyber Crime Youth Rescue Act last Friday, which, once passed, would create an “educational reform program” for those caught creating and/or distributing pornographic materials. This would be a more lenient option than those currently available to prosecutors.
“There are too many kids who are getting themselves into serious trouble for adolescent behavior,” said Alan Maisel, a Democratic assemblyman from Brooklyn and a co-sponsor of the bill. “I don’t know if they should be tainted with this evil brush for the rest of their lives.”
The training program created under the bill would be available statewide and administered by the Office of Children and Family Services. As an alternative to prosecution, district attorneys could recommend that judges assign mandatory training to first-time offenders who are 18 years old or younger.
I can’t even imagine how awkward this program will be for both the educators and the naughty, naughty kids who get caught sexting, but it’s certainly an improvement over prosecuting teens under child pornography laws, which is what they do now. Branding horny teenagers as registered sex offenders for acting like horny teenagers is clearly absurd, and I’m glad someone finally realized that. Happy re-educating, New York lawmakers.