Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nudie Pics on the Cell Phone

Judgement like this helps explain why we don't let teenagers drink, vote, smoke, rent cars, etc.

School officials have begun handing out suspensions to Pinckney High School students involved in receiving or transmitting a revealing cell phone photo a 14-year-old girl took of herself and sent to friends...

Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte has said the girl took the photo, which shows her genitals and her face, over the summer and sent it to three or four friends' phones. But authorities estimate it's been received by more than 200 people since school resumed.

I have two questions. First, why is the school involved at all? Unless the sending of pictures occurs at school, this isn't a school issue. Second, why are people who receive the picture at risk for arrest? How can you prevent someone from sending you something? I'd understand arresting people who distributed or kept the picture, but not someone who received it and promptly deleted it.

Bottom line: in this entire story, there isn't one person acting with a shred of intelligence.


Ellen K said...

And I have an answer. Cell phones at school are like toadstools-they crop up without warning. Some teenagers, most notably dumb little girls, think it's sexy and cools to photograph themselves and send it to guys for popularity points. Guys being guys, the first thing they do is send it along. The problem becomes two-fold, first of all, the distraction factor is through the roof! You will have kids surreptitiously peeking and emailing all the class long. And that doesn't even touch on the social dilemma of the girl in school. Can you imagine? Secondly, there is the very serious issue of porn. If a male student who is three years or more older, which can happen in a four year high school, has possession of this photo on his cell phone, he can be arrested and accused of possessing and distributing child pornography. He will end up labeled a pedophile for life. So it's serious and while I hate it that schools are involved, school is where kids sneak around to do these things and school is where it gets caught. A few parents would be wise to look at what their kids have on their cell phones......

Darren said...

While I would agree with you *if* this occurred during school--no doubt some of it did--that's not really what the story says. The story says that the whole thing started over the summer and has propagated since school resumed--but isn't clear that anything happened at school.

I say let the school deal with it when it occurs at school, but it's not really the business of the school if kids are doing that on their own time.

Steve K. USMA '85 said...


I believe that most, if not all schools have rules that do not allow pornography in the building. A student who is carrying such a picture would be at odds with school rules and probably the local and state laws. I doubt there is a distinction as to whether the picture is hard copy or electronic. If the picture is on said student's phone and the phone is with the student in school, regs and/or laws are broken and the school should take action.

If a student receives the picture and immediately deletes it, I don't think the law could hold him/her at fault. As you said, you can't control what comes in. Storing it on your phone perpetuates the crime and you should be liable for the consequences.

Darren said...


At my school the phone cannot be used at all during the school day. What reason would *the school* have to go through someone's phone if the student wasn't using it at school? Sounds to me like a law enforcement issue, not a school issue.

If a kid uses their phone and, during the school's "search", learns that another student has received the picture (outside of school), the school should report that to law enforcement.

I see your argument about the "possession" of porn at school, but to be honest, that sounds kinda "reaching" to me. Turn it over to law enforcement.

Ellen K said...

A friend of mine in a nearby district picked up a phone during an incident and it was open and revealed a very nasty photo that some of the girls took and sent. This was a seventh grader at a suburban school. I realize the schools cannot and should not be parents, but this should be a warning that parents need to check their kids' phones!