New York Legislators Plan to Propose 'Sext Ed'

Monday, 06 Jun 2011 05:08 PM

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New York state lawmakers plans to push for legislation that would warn teenagers about the perils of sending intimate photos of themselves from cellphones. The move comes amid politicians’ criticism of laws that can leave teens facing felony child-pornography charges for sending nude pictures.

The Cyber Crime Youth Rescue Act, which Democrats plan to sponsor in the Republican-led Legislature, would propose funding for an educational campaign about “sexting,” a trend that has caused problems for many who sent pictures back then that they regret now.

The topic exploded recently with allegations that Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., may have sent lewd photos to a Seattle college student.

The initiative would outline the potential legal repercussions and lifetime of embarrassment that can result from teenagers sending inappropriate photos of themselves via handheld devices and the Internet, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The program also would warn kids about "the nearly unlimited ability of an infinite audience to utilize the Internet search for and replicate materials."

"There are too many kids who are getting themselves into serious trouble for adolescent behavior," Alan Maisel, a Democratic assemblyman from Brooklyn and a co-sponsor of the bill, told the Journal. "I don't know if they should be tainted with this evil brush for the rest of their lives."

Similar proposals have been introduced or passed in more than a dozen other states to give prosecutors more leeway and distinguish such offenses from child pornography and sexual-predator crimes that include more serious and lasting penalties.

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