Parents of teenagers have always had trouble when it comes to understanding why these young people do what they do. We were all teenagers once, and yet it can be easy to forget that we have probably all made mistakes at that age that we are not proud of. But fortunately for us, those mistakes were not shared all across the Internet like they are today.
The same cannot be said for today’s teens. Now they are all just a text or tagged photo away from sharing any and everything with their friends. But many of them do not have the maturity to know the consequences of what can happen when sharing goes too far. Unfortunately, many teens wind up in serious trouble for engaging in unlawful behaviors online and could face the possibility of criminal charges. But is it really appropriate to put teens behind bars for a lapse in judgment or could there be another way to handle these situations?
That is the debate that has been sparked ever since a 16-year-old girl was arrested for sending illicit photos of herself to some classmates and uploading the naked pictures to her Twitter account. The young girl (and her embarrassed mother) confirmed that the girl had taken and then shared the photos herself. This, according to police, was grounds to arrest the teen for distributing child pornography.
It was a bad choice on the girl’s part, to be sure, but are these criminal charges really necessary? Is it really appropriate to lump this girl in with adults who are accused of the same crime? Is it really the same type of behavior that warrants criminal penalties?
Many people would argue that no, it is not appropriate for the girl to face the same consequences that an adult accused of the same crime might. The fact is that teenagers are still developing decision-making skills, pushing boundaries, and learning from their mistakes. Many of them do not have the capacity to act as responsibly as parents would like, especially when it comes to things like Twitter, selfies, and other mainstays in an adolescent world that parents may not understand. But rather than let these mistakes ruin the rest of their lives, parents in New York may want to consider working with a criminal defense attorney to protect their teen from exposure to overly harsh punishment.