Thursday, March 19, 2009

Furious at "Sexting" Story

I saw the following story on WTHR today reported by Steve Jefferson:

If you read all of the comments, you saw what I had to say about the injustice taking place in the case at John Marshall. Two kids, one fifteen-year-old girl and one fourteen-year-old boy were taped (or taped themselves) having sex. The boy decided to show this tape off to his friends at school. They got caught. The phone was confiscated from the boy and the girl was "referred to mental health services" according to the statement put out by the IPS school district. The boy loses his phone and the girl has to go to therapy. Am I the only one who sees something wrong here? At first, I got mad at how this story was reported, because maybe IPS did say some action was being taken with/against the boy and Mr. Jefferson just left that out. No. This was the reply I received to my comment. First there was a very prompt (which I highly appreciate) e-mail in reply to my comment that said:

"I've put in a call to the reporter on this story to see if he has any information on what, if anything, will happen to the 14-year-old. If I get that information, it will be added to this story. Thanks for your comment."

Then I went to the story and saw that the WTHR administrator (same person? i dunno) replied to my comment with a comment saying:

"Myranda, I checked with Steve Jefferson, the reporter who covered this story today, and he says it appears there won't be any repercussions for the 14-year-old boy, at least in the Indianapolis case."

I replied to both replies with this:

"Thanks for getting back with me. I truly appreciate it. I saw the administrator comment that no repercussions are being taken against the 14-year-old boy. Do you have any information on who should be contacted to protest this decision? IPS? Also, can that be added to the story? A simple statement that no action is being taken against the boy involved. I find it so incredibly unfair, to say the least, that the girl is being referred "to mental health services" and the boy who was just as involved in the incident (even more so, if you consider the fact that he was the one showing off the video to his friends) is receiving no treatment or punishment.

Thanks again for taking the initiative to check this out and reply so quickly. That is highly admirable and appreciated."

And believe you me, there will be letters written and phone calls made to IPS administrators who have treated this girl like a head case, while the boy gets off scotch-free. I understand the girl, at first, claimed it was a forced act. The videotape, I'm assuming, refutes that statement. I'm not saying the girl is right in claiming a false rape. She's not. But for her to be framed as having "obvious issues" when the boy involved apparently has none? Because it is acceptable behavior for a fourteen-year-old boy to show off his sex tape to his friends. But it is not acceptable for a girl in her situation to lie about what happened. Both are unacceptable. And BOTH should be dealt with. That's all I'm saying.


  1. The sad thing is that I'm pretty sure legally that the act itself between the 14 and 15 year old But the punishment is so one-sided that it's literally painful to read. And by the looks of things, the school isn't going to do anything like suspension or expulsion, the punishments that mattered. Taking the phone away, you get a new phone and tape yourself having sex again, nothing changes at all.

  2. It is actually legal. There have been attempts to prosecute minors who tape or photograph themselves in sexually explicit ways with child pornography charges, but those attempts usually don't go anywhere.

    This *is* really disturbing. I'm just trying to wrap my mind around how the unequal punishment could be justified. All I can come up with is justifications based on gender stereotypes.

    A little piece of me is hoping that there was something in the story, some hidden fact we don't know, that would explain why one party was referred to mental counseling while the other simply had his phone confiscated.

    I mean, after all, wasn't he the one who chose to share the tape with the school? That's really the actual problem here...children having sex? Yeah, that's not really OK, but it's a whole lot worse to show the tape to other people at SCHOOL, in my opinion.

  3. Absolutely. You know so many of the other comments on the story on the WTHR website were, "children these days" types of comments. Although it is disturbing (Kacey is 14!), my lot in life is not to get kids to stop having sex. They're going to anyway. What irked me was the way the female was portrayed in regards to the act, as opposed tot he way the male was portrayed (or not portrayed at all).


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