Greensburg Salem High School follow-up

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.

Article on Dawkins

I’m swamped in Marine Biology, Human Nutrition, Genetics, some philosophy and other areas of study this weekend, so cheapo-posts will have to do. Here is an article about Richard Dawkins I found enlightening.

So he is genuinely puzzled by people calling him aggressive. “Well, I’m nothing like as aggressive as I’m portrayed. And I’m always being labelled ‘strident’. In the bestseller lists it always has a little one-line summary of the book, and for my new one it says ‘strident academic Richard Dawkins’. I’m forever saddled with this wretched adjective. I think I’m one of the most unstrident people in the world. I’d like to think my books are humorous at points,” he adds, pensively. “I’d like to think people laugh when they read them.”

And when asked about who may read them,

So finally I have to ask him, does he honestly think any creationists will read it?

“Hardline, mind-made-up creationists, no. But there are lots of people, people who think they are creationists but who haven’t thought about it very hard, people who grew up in some religion or other, who are just beginning to question what they were taught. And all of a sudden they are reading about evolution and saying, wait a minute, this makes sense. I get a lot of letters from people thanking me, saying, ‘You’ve changed my life.’ That is very, very gratifying.” So you have actually converted people? “Well, for example, I was at one point teaching in Oxford, and we had an animal-behaviour student who was a creationist from some out-of-the-way Bible college in America. He came dutifully to all my lectures, every week, and after the last lecture, he came down to the desk where I was packing up my notes and he said, ‘Gee, this evolution, it really makes sense!’ So yes, yes, I do believe that people can change their minds, be convinced by the truth. And I thought, yes, that’s what I’m here for.”

Thought of the day

Where is the intention in a mutation?