Approved NJ bill aims to address 'sexting' by teenagers with intense education

Approved NJ bill aims to address 'sexting' by teenagers with intense education
Now that cell phones are being perceived more as a necessity in our society, not only is it keeping people freely engaged with one another, but at the same time, some younger people out there are using it for other purposes like “sexting.”

Well, New Jersey is one of the states across the US facing this threat head on as a new bill was approved yesterday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Specifically, measure A-1561 was approved by a unanimous 78-0 vote by the Assembly back in March, but now it’s pushing forward and moving to the Senate for final legislative approval.

Assemblywoman Pamel Lampitt said, “Teens need to understand the ramifications of their actions, but they shouldn’t necessarily be treated as criminals. We need to create a path that places education and forgiveness before arrest and prosecution. Young people – especially teen girls – need to understand that sending inappropriate pictures is not only potentially illegal, but can leave an indelible mark on them socially and educationally.”

Essentially, juveniles caught sending any explicit photographs with the cell phones are not going to be facing any criminal prosecution, but instead, they’ll actually be required to go through an intense education process that would show them the ramifications of their actions. Compared to other states, New Jersey’s approved bill is much more forgiving seeing that teenagers are generally charged with some serious criminal offenses instead – like the distribution of child pornography.

source: New Jersey Newsroom via Textually

FEATURED VIDEO

21 Comments

1. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

wow.. intense education process..???? what will they think of it next

2. messiah

Posts: 438; Member since: Feb 19, 2010

Please, teach them effective sexting.. Teens need guidance in being effective sexting experts.... Lol I remember a priest attended a seminar at my grade six class, talking about the evils of rock and roll..... His way of describing this music was fantastic.... As soon as school was out I bought acdc's highway to hell. ....ergo.... You know teens will appreciate the sexting classes.

3. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

This is a great idea for this problem. Teens are incapable to think things all the way though. If you can show teens the ramifications of such acts it may make them better equipped to be a productive member of society in the future. Sometimes these kinds of actions can black list you for life. So I indeed am for this strict intense educational process. Now after this process if they still don't change their ways then you can though the book at them. Some adults can take advantage of these teens because they don't 100% exactly know what they are doing! Education is the best way in this matter. In our society we are increasingly becoming more & more dependent on our smart phones. Some teens NEED to be showed how to use them!

11. gregoryyy3 unregistered

Ok you guys act like adults don't do it either.. I don't know anyone who "sexts".. i think maybe only like 5 kids have done it around the country? and they're idiots. This law is stupid, just more way to get money. And you all sound dumb saying stupid about kids considering you all were one at one point.

13. GeeksbsmrT unregistered

I actually can see both sides very well. On one hand the sexting is a very big problem. However, it is NOT the governments problem to deal with. We are deep in debt to other world nations, spending money on programs that are operating at an unsustainable rate/net loss, the unemployment rate is horrible and not looking to get any better, and we hardly manufacture anything of worth in the country. Where is the money going to come from to track the offenses and then to "intensely educate" the offenders. The actual question to ask is, where are the parents? Why is it that their children have a device capable of doing these things. Yes, I know teens want to have the latest and greatest device on the market and growing up I did. However, I did not use it for these purposes. Now that I have an almost 2-year-old daughter a lot of "issues" that I did not think of nor see in that light while growing up have surfaced. I know that once of age she will pester me for that newest coolest gadget and I as a parent will have to ask myself if I raised her with enough sense to not do "stupid" things. While we all WANT to believe our children are smart enough we KNOW if they are or not. If you do not know, maybe you should re-think the parenting thing.

15. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

This is a link to the definition of Government:http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/government as per dictionary.com.Now the Government has a duty to mold the people into something that benefits the greater good. If not there would be no laws & thus anarchy would reign supreme. I am happy that the Government thinks this IS something to tackle because if not addressed it will make a less desirable citizen in the future. If the Government doesn’t help in this case then who will? Will you step up for this cause? I know that I can't so it's honorable that the Government is thinking of its future & wants the best possible citizens. Not all parents are created equal. Some parents like myself will address this with my kids, while others turn a blind eye & are enablers to the situation. Most likely the kids that are sexting are kids whose parents FAILED them. So if the parents can't be relied on then who else is left. It's not like the Government is telling you what to do, they are just showing them the ramifications to those actions. They can take the education or leave it. Just like school, no one is putting a gun to your head & saying YOU MUST DO WHAT YOU LEARNED! A crap load of people go to college & end up doing something totally different as their living. I am a prime example. With increasing technology we as a society are presented with different obstacles/problems that didn’t exist 50 years ago, heck 15 years ago. This sexting was a non issue 15 years ago. Now smart phones are so mainstream parents think they are doing the correct thing by giving a minor that privilege. A kid that age needs to be told & explained on how to properly use such technology so they don’t do something that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. The hardest thing to do in life is to be a parent. To shape a young mind in a decent member of society with what is out there is SO HARD. Why do you think there are so many bad seeds out there? So if those kids are going to be neglected by their parents then the Government needs to step up & see what there needs to be done to promote compatibility with society. We want a country full of contributing citizens, not citizens who put a strain & burden on society! I am NOT saying the Government needs to monitor our lives but if they see a young person who is committing these acts, why not lend a helping hand to them ESPECIALLY if their parents are no good. I don’t mind paying taxes on things that will make society better. God knows the Government wastes so much money, so why not on this?

18. GeeksbsmrT unregistered

You forget however that our Government was founded as a loose thread to tie together 13 States. The Federal Government has been extremely limited in its power by the Constitution (recently however, people have forgotten that this document even exists). In fact, most people will say that things like this will fall under the "General Welfare Clause." "... provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,..." The problem with this argument is that this phrase falls in the Preamble, an introduction to the document stating very specifically what can and cannot be regulated by the Government. If the Government were to "mold the people into something that benefits the greater good" you may as well call us the USSA. This sounds way too close to Social/Marx/Communism for me. The USA was created so people could be individuals, not government created robots.

21. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

You are taking this too far. No one wants that. Government is fundamental in the USA. The USA would not be what it is today without the Government. The USA was MOLDED on blood, sweat, & tears. We are a super power because the Government molded us to be free & do whatever, ONLY if it benefits the greater good. If you start doing something questionable the Government WILL be there to knock at your door. So thanks for being cute, but this education that they are looking into for those kids who are sexting is only for the greater good of this country & it falls under the “General Welfare Clause”. If the kid doesn't heed the education & keeps on doing that they will have to answer to the Government at one point or another down the line. Just like the Mormons had to follow the American way before Utah was admitted to the Union the same can be said on anyone who lives in this country. You have to follow the mold of this country just like anywhere else! Only our mold is capitalistic & free!

22. GeeksbsmrT unregistered

There is no "General Welfare Clause", people have interpreted the Preamble as being part of the Powers granted. However, it was written as a "This is what we're going to tell you later in the document." If the Government wants to take legal action against minors for an illegal act that is one thing. However, a government funded program to do what a PARENT should be doing is completely unacceptable to me.

23. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

The “general welfare” clause is mentioned twice in the U.S. Constitution: first, in the preamble and second, it is found in Article 1, Section 8. Just so you know. You don't get it. Some parents are irresponsible and are part of the problem. What then? Are you going to step up & help these lost kids. I can't because I don't have the means. Do you have the means? What should the Government do let this fester & have these unfit people just be free to be a burden on me & you? Some kids don't have good parents. Just because you can have a kid doesn't mean you will be a good parent. The Government is trying to see what can be done & they a proposing this. You think this world is perfect, you think that there are no parents abusing their kids at this very moment? You need to wake up, this will only make your life better in the long run. If we can get these kids to be great contributors to society we will all live better lives. What is your solution to this then? I think the Government has a good idea.

25. GeeksbsmrT unregistered

But in Article 1 Section 8 there is no mention as to educating people. "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States" not the citizens of the United States. Again, this is a "preamble" to the listed powers in the Section. There will be bad parents, I agree with that, but again it is not the Government's responsibility to educate the nation. Look back into the history of the US. When parents were unable to care for their children neighbors, friends, or other family did. You said yourself that you don't have the means to "step up and help" but guess where the Government is going to get the money. The only way for our Government to sustain the path it is on is to increase taxes or cut spending on other ventures. I don't see any worth while strikes on the table. The world is not perfect. I never said it was. How did you jump to parents that are abusing their children? I fail to see any other connection other than there are bad parents. There are also programs, many of which are not government funded, to help in such a case. Regardless, if society feels that this is so big of an issue then society needs to deal with it. Not be forced to deal with it.

27. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Nobody is forcing you to deal with anything. What are you talking about? The Government does supply education to people. They see it as a responsibility, why do they offer free school to all? Didn't you go to school? This is a program to help kids with this problem so they can avoid child porn charges. You rather deal with it, by those kids going to jail & have to shell out even more tax money to support those people in jail? Either way the Government is involved & the latter is the better choice. I rather have a kid with that special education than a kid without it. Those children will contribute to the society in a positive way than if they didn't have that special education. If they are capable of this as teens then what will they do as adults? Just so you know being a bad parent is a form of abuse because you are not providing the nurturing a child needs to be a productive member of this society. So look at the whole picture & not the most obvious!

14. josh unregistered

What's the actual problem with sexting now? And how would they even catch them?

26. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The problem with setting comes when it's done by anyone under the age of consent, because then in the eyes of the law it becomes distribution of child pornography. So let's say you and your girlfriend break up. It's not pleasant, so you send the nekkid pics she took of herself and sent to you out to all of your buddies. Someone reports it, you get caught, and BAM! Oops. Now you're on the sex offender registry because you decided to be immature and vindictive.

16. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

@superandroid evo... minors cannot get an account, they need their parents to open them, if parents failed then most likely they would not have phones that will be able to sent pictures, and if there are well is just a minority... what the article is referring is for poeple that have drop the ball as parents and give them a cellphone without educating them on the reponsabilities it comes with... the goverment cannot possible address all issues with our commnunity.. we have to step up so they can use our tax dollars for other issues more important....than sexting....I respect your thoughts and trust me you are right there is a problem.. but is more of our problem.. than the goverment...

17. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

When I say the parents FAILED them I mean they didn't teach the dangers & how the wrong choice with a smart phone can have ramifications that will be with them for the rest of their lives. I am not saying it's the Government responsibility. The Government has a right to help the people. What they are suggesting is a benefit to the society as a whole. Welfare is a benefit so then the Government should not be involved? Welfare seems to me like "our problem" so as long as it benefits the society why not? The Government felt the need to help people with welfare. Welfare helps people in need, but it also enables other people. There are generations of people on welfare. The children see their parents abusing the system & then they themselves end up doing the same thing. So where does it begin & where does it stop. This sexting can lead to many different endings for these kids. Most of them are NOT good. Again if a parent FAILS the child will YOU be there to fix the problem or should we sweep it under the carpet & hope for the best? If the Government thinks this is a good reason to promote this education, it's maybe because they see the dangers of what sexting can lead to. I don't think they came up with this as they were talking about the last episode of the Walking Dead at the water cooler! They saw the raw data & came up with a solution. Just like welfare is a benefit, this education is a benefit to the young citizens of this country.

19. Psychic unregistered

Parents are not to blame here. Everyone has a mind of their and unless the parents didn't teach them basic common sense, then it's not there fault. My parents never talked about sexting, theyv'e joked about it but never talked about it. And I know I would never do it. They can only get so much involved, it's not their fault. People -even teens- do have a mind of their own.

20. GeeksbsmrT unregistered

That may be the case but the parents are slightly to blame. It is their responsibility to teach their children right from wrong. However, you are correct in your statement that no matter how hard you try, if someone wants to do something they are going to. This is where it falls back to the parents to discipline their children. NOT the government. This brings us back to blaming the parents for not disciplining their children properly.

24. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

YES you are so right! What if the parent doesn't teach them the basics of right & wrong. Then what? So again it's not that simple. Parenting is a very hard job. It's a demanding job. Kids will make mistakes but sexting should not be one of them. Now if a kid knows & still is sexting then what is that kid......? That is why this education plan is a good thing. Maybe it will help those kids, or maybe it won't because they just don't care. Odds are it will do more good than not.

28. Troy_Murphy unregistered

I think the bill is only going to make kids want to do it more

30. Paul Rapoport unregistered

I've followed this problem for some years and written about it. There isn't so far a court or government in the US that understands this issue. They make absurd assumptions based on prejudiced and remarkably narrow notions about teens, about communications, about bodies, about sexuality. And most of the politicians (which includes loads of DA's) don't even know the laws already on the books that are relevant. The "education programs" for the supposedly bad teens tend to political brainwashing, fear-mongering, and outright lies when they aren't something worse. I'll leave it at that.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.