Illinois legislators should continue to examine incidents of sexting and how the current law applies to them.
Until then, parents and schools may be better equipped to discipline and admonish sexting teens than are police and prosecutors. 720 ILCS 5/11-20.1(a)(6), (c) (noting possession is a Class 3 felony).
For example, after hundreds of people were sent sext messages a teen had sent only to her boyfriend, she was cruelly harassed through My Space and Facebook, leading her to hang herself.
In addition to risking reputation and self-esteem, sexting teenagers also expose themselves, their peers, and their school administrators to significant criminal liability.
Adults risk embarrassment if their sext message is misdirected.
Thus, one unwise youthful indiscretion results in five felonies and subjects the teenage couple to branding as "sex offenders." A legislative response.
Additionally, school districts should educate their students about the pitfalls and criminal consequences of sexting. Naturally, prohibiting student use of cell phones during the school day can greatly reduce sexting issues at school.