New Texas Law Proposes Punishing Parents and Teens for Sexting
In case you missed it, this week we elaborated on the not so funny dangers associated with tech gadgetry. On February 7, just before Valentines day, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, filed a bill to make “sexting” illegal. Additionally, the proposed new law will require schools to conduct mobile literacy in classrooms on the ramifications of the new law. In a statement released to the press:
“Prior to this proposed bill prosecutors really only had two options for dealing with young people, teens who engaged in sexting,” Watson said. “They could either prosecute them under our very strict adult pornography laws or do nothing.”
So what’s the punishment for those caught in violation of sexting?
- If you are a teenager 18 years old or younger caught “sexting” you could be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail)
- Parents or guardians of the youth could also face penalties
- A judge presiding over each case has the power to require both the parent and the teenager to complete and pay for educational classes on the crime committed.
- Teens who report that they received a sext-message within 48 hours could avoid punishment.
So how dangerous is sexting?
From a study conducted in 2009, teenagers sending or posting sexually suggestive messages:
- 39% of all teenagers
- 37% of teen girls
- 40% of teen boys
Should parents be punished for their teen’s sexting? Should teenagers possibly face jail time for sending a sext-message?