Update in Susquenita student sexting case

By Anne Collier

I’m confused: A Pennsylvania district attorney says that, in prosecuting kids, “he is just trying to protect kids,” CBSNEWS.com reports. Perry County District Attorney Charles Chenot told CBS that child pornography charges were the only ones that fit the activity of the eight Susquinita high school students involved in a sexting incident last fall (for more see my earlier post “Susquenita, PA, case: A parent’s view”). He told CBS something less severe might’ve been better but it would still need to “draw these teenagers’ attention to the wrongness of their acts.” But former US Rep. Don Bailey, a Harrisburg civil rights attorney who is defending the only one of the Susquenita students who “has not pleaded guilty to lesser charges, which would require him to take a class on victimization and perform community service” is “skeptical” that sexting by minors should be prosecutable at all. [Here’s similar coverage from News.AVN.com.] The CBS article also tells the story of a 19-year-old woman in the Scranton area, who, with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, is suing her former high school for invading her privacy and violating search-and-seizure laws. Because she was talking on her cellphone before the start of class one day and cellphone use wasn’t allowed in school, her teacher confiscated and searched it, finding semi-nude images on her on it. The phone then went to the principal, who sent it to a crime lab, according to CBS. [See also “Sexting primer for parents.”]

Leave a comment