Sometime back I wrote about the irrational rule internalization which resulted in six teens from Greensburg Salem High School in Greensburg, PA being charged with distributing child pornography. In short, six teens (3 girls, 3 boys) were involved in sending or receiving photos which featured three of them in the nude or partially nude. Each person involved in these exchanges is allowed to engage in sex with each other under Pennsylvania law. So according to the Greensburg DA and the city’s police captain, George Seranko, these teens may see each other nude, even have sex, but if they do it via scary electronic devices*, they are subject to prosecution.
Since I never followed up on this case, I have gone ahead and found out what happened to these kids.
In January, six Greensburg Salem High School students were charged in juvenile court with child pornography offenses for sexting. The teens were sentenced to community service or a curfew and didn’t have to register as sex offenders.
These punishments are either too harsh or irrelevant. Had they all stood in a room together naked, would anything have happened? Of course not. The law in Pennsylvania says nothing can happen in terms of prosecution; the teens have been deemed legally responsible enough to engage in these activities. Giving any of them community service is too harsh a punishment for that reason. They should not be subject to servicing a community which has already given them the rights to engage in sexual behavior with each other. If anything, those leading the community – namely Capt. George Seranko – owe these teens an apology. As for the curfew, that is entirely irrelevant to the ‘crime’ with which they were charged. Their phones work just as well in the evening and at night as they do in the day. Curtailing the freedom of these teens (especially the ones who may work) serves no purpose. It says nothing of what they did and does nothing to prevent it from happening again. Not only are the police, prosecutors, and judges of Greensburg internalizing rules like robotic morons, they aren’t even applying the punishments for the rules appropriately. That city is obviously not run with intelligence.
*The older one beomces, usually the more mature and worldly one becomes. Not so with technology. It frightens the elderly.
UPDATE: I would email this to the Greensburg PD, but they insist on showing their lack of grasp of technology and its role in our lives, so they have no email address.