The articles stated that, "the girls, ages 14 and 15, are charged with taking pictures of themselves, nude or seminude; the boys, 15, 16 and 17, with receiving them."
In other words, no pedophile adults were involved in any way in this "crime", nor were the teens forced or duped into creating and sending these photos. They were just teens being teens, exploring their sexuality as adolescents have done for generations.
The images were found when the students' cell phones had been confiscated by school officials, currently a common practice for unauthorized use of cell phones on school grounds during school hours.
What was not standard practice was the fact that these students' phones were not merely locked in a drawer, untouched, until they were returned to the students or their parents. School officials snooped into the private files of the phones in question where they discovered the private images, not meant for public consumption. The students involved were not suspected of any crimes, but merely for breaking the school rule about cell phone use by students.
The article also stated:
No one knows how many kids are poised for long sentences, life sentences (a possibility under federal law), plea deals that cast them in the pariah-land of sex offenders. Prosecutors have gone after teens in at least Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania.
My response to this article follows below:
Conservatives Looking for Government to Solve Their Problems
Conservatives are always hooting and hollering about the evils of "big government" and constantly extol the virtues of handling matters as much as possible in the private sector.
By criminalizing all types of adolescent sexual exploration and activity in the manner outlined in this article; behavior that has traditionally been handled solely by the parents of the teens involved, conservatives are looking to the government to play a role that should rightly remain that of a parent.
The potential to stamp out normal teenage sexuality with such draconian laws is very low, even if a large percentage of our society considered this a worthy goal. (I don't).
However, the potential for ruining the future adult lives of normal teenagers is very high, and extremely inadvisable.
Let's leave a parent's role to parents and not expect the government to parent our children in regards to sexual expression among consenting parties.
Let us not return to 17th century Puritan sexual ethics. It's a bad fit for the 21st century.
You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.