Is anyone as baffled as I am that this ever became an issue? Most states, including Vermont, don't distinguish between pedophiles who own and distribute sexually explicit images of minors and minors (probably mostly underage teenage girls) who send texts with naked pictures of themselves to their hormonally overcharged minor boyfriends.
"If a 14-year-old girl decides to send a picture of her breasts to her boyfriend who's 15," said Vermont State Sen. John Campbell, "she has just become a transmitter of child pornography and he is in possession of child pornography. And as such, they are now on the lifetime sex-offender registry.”
What does this mean for them? Try getting into college (or a job) as a registered sex offender. As a result of this harsh penalty, the Vermont legislature has proposed decriminalizing consensual "sexting" between kids who are between 13 and 18 — but some people think this is encouraging teens to continue.
Isn't the whole point of these laws to keep images of underage teens away from creepy adults? There has to be a better way of encouraging kids with impulse control problems from getting naked and sending pictures of themselves to their puppy loves than to charge them with an adult offense. The law recognizes and tempers the repercussion against kids who commit violent acts — why not something dumb like sexting? (And are my eyes deceiving me, or is Internet Safety Expert Donna Rice up there the Donna Rice from the Gary Hart "Monkey Business" scandal that ended his campaign for the presidency in 1987?!) Click here to read more.