by Stephanie A '11

‘lol noodz 4 u plz 4wrd’

Who knew sending text messages could get you in trouble? Well, when you’re sending explicit pictures, videos or messages relating to sex, your right to speech becomes complicated. Teenagers have started this new trend known as “Sexting”. Today’s technology has opened up a whole new medium for typical adolescent “experimentation” which may be more dangerous than many teens comprehend.
Eleventh grader, Alex Gutu has yet to send or receive a “sext” message.  Even so, he thinks people who send these dirty text messages are “stupid”.
Most students who were caught had their phones on during school and after getting their phones confiscated, teachers go through their phone, eventually finding the dirty text messages.
Sexting is now a big concern with parents and schools and lawyers are responding.
Sending, taking, receiving or passing along a nude photo of yourself or anybody else, under the age of 18, legally falls under the category: “child pornography.” And possessing child pornography is a felony in the United States and punishable by jail time. Convicted teens are also be branded as sexual offenders, a huge blemish on records and a possible problem when applying for colleges and jobs.
Like many detrimental decisions, it takes two seconds to press send. And you can’t take it back.
In Pennsylvania three teen girls took a seemingly innocent photo in their bras but the photo quickly circulated amongst their classmates and they soon found themselves in trouble beyond belief.  CBS News quoted the Wyoming County DA who has filed changes against the girls that include “sexual abuse of children in Pennsylvania, criminal [use] of a communications facility, or open lewdness, and there were other possible charges also.”
About 40% of teenagers claim to have, at one point, been shown a sexual text message that wasn’t meant for them to see. “It’s easy to imagine some stupid teenage guy showing off some sexy text message they got from a girl,” a female sophomore at BSGE, who has considered sending a sext message because of “pressure from a guy,” feebly admits.
Ivan Pereda, an 8th grader at BSGE, doesn’t think its appropriate for people to be sexting and that he would be mad if a message of him was going around.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reported last month that 20 percent of teens and young adults have sent or posted nude or semi-nude photos or videos of themselves. The percentage of girls who sext is slightly greater than that of boys.
Teenagers need to realize that pressing send can do a lot of unanticipated damage.


By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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