Each month, I start thinking about what I want to share in this column. By the time that I set down to write it, several issues have come to mind and my original idea is put on hold. I was originally going to write about a book that was titled “Raising Kids To Thrive; Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust” by Kenneth Ginsberg. In the book, he covers a wide variety of emotions on part of the child and the parent. It is without a doubt, tougher to be a parent today than it was when I raised my children. I watch the issues that impact my children and grandchildren. Although most of the pressures are the same, the addition of technology has made it more complicated.
So, as I looked at the book, the problem of “sexting” has become more of an issue than sharing information about the book. The issue shows technology can be a blessing or a curse. How do you get involved with your child without be a helicopter parent? Our children are using their smartphones and taking inappropriate pictures of themselves and sending the pictures to their boyfriend or girlfriend. In many cases, they believe the photo won’t ever leave the privacy of their communication. There are too many cases where we know that isn’t true. In fact, Fayetteville Police have told parents that the taking of the picture can be a felony and in some cases, the student would be registered as a sex offender.
A partnership has been formed between the Fayetteville Police, the County District Attorney and my office to tackle this very issue. We know of no other place in the nation that is taking such a proactive stance.
The following is what I’ve been authorized to share:
* If you are under the age of 18, taking a nude photo of yourself is considered creating child pornography. You are guilty of a felony.
* If you send the nude photo, you are guilty of sending child pornography which is another felony.
* If you keep a nude photo that was sent to you, you are guilty of possessing child pornography which is another felony.
* If you receive it…delete it.
* If parents find it … report it.
Let’s take a stand for our children and protect them from the long-term consequences of such a careless act.
Dr. Frank Till
Published by Laurie Pender on February 1, 2016