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Should We Be Jailed for Dumb Decisions?

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sexting

A 14-year-old New Jersey girl was arrested after posting nude pictures of herself on her Myspace profile in an attempt to tease her boyfriend. The charge? Distributing child pornography.

Three Pennsylvania teens face similar charges after sending some seriously dirty texts.

Yikes! I’ve been known to send what I suppose some could classify as a dirty text every now and then, and while it’s not illegal being I am an adult who can do whatever she pleases with her unlimited text plan, I can’t help but sympathize with these girls.

We all make stupid decisions when we’re in love…or lust.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children claims to have “seen a rise in cases of teenagers who, because of severe bad judgment or downright stupidity, place semi-nude or nude photos of themselves on the web or send racy cell phone pictures of themselves to friends.” I agree that this was really, really bad judgment (I mean, these girls do know that texts can be forwarded, right?), but is jail time really going to help them understand where they went wrong?

We’ve all made some pretty stupid decisions growing up. One instance at summer camp in 5th grade comes to mind. Let’s just say it involved a phone-sex hot line, a pay phone and a very serious game of truth or dare gone awry. Thank god our parents were called instead of the police, or I’d be in a hell of a lot more trouble than having my allowance taken away.

Even as adults we continue to make poor decisions (every weekend) and pray to god they don’t catch up with us. Binge drinking, hooking up with strangers, meeting people off the internet… and then posting all the incriminating photos on Facebook. Photos that automatically get shared with far more people than a simple text.

Photos that can easily come back to haunt us…

The point is, there are plenty of ways to punish someone (like letting the situation pan out and letting embarassment set in) and jail time seems a bit too harsh for a little adolescent naivety. Do you really think a 14-year-old girl who sends a naughty pic of herself to her super-serious middle school BF deserves the same fate as T.I.?

And, let’s be honest for a moment here, isn’t music by Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers punishment enough for today’s youth? I’m just sayin’…

What do you think? Should we punish kids for stupidity?

COLLEGECANDY Writer