For the record, I have never e-mailed or texted a photograph of any naked part of my anatomy to anyone. (Truth is, no one has ever asked for one. But that’s another story.)
Nor, I would hope, have my children ever done such a stupid — and lame — thing.
But if they had, it would be none of the state of New Jersey’s business.
Proving the rule (my rule, anyway) about the danger of unanimous, bipartisan votes, the state Assembly on Monday passed a measure by a 78-0 vote to create what is being described as an educational, diversionary program for teenagers who text or e-mail nude pictures of themselves to one another — a practice known as “sexting.”
No doubt all 78 Assembly members who voted for this bill were well-intentioned. The legislation is a reaction to out-of-control prosecutors in several states who actually accused teenagers of distributing child-pornography for sending such pictures to another teen.
Virtually everyone agrees that the prosecutors were way out of line with that — but the counter measure in the New Jersey Legislature is really just further proof that lawmakers don’t get it.
Sexting is dumb. Those images can follow you for life. Who knows where they could end up? (Ask Brett Favre.)
But it’s not child pornography — and nor is it something that requires an educational diversionary program administered by county prosecutors, who would determine who could be admitted to the program.
Folks, this is nonsense. Sexting among teenagers is just a modern version of “If you show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”
Not that I’m encouraging it. But it isn’t a crime. It isn’t a matter for the Legislature or the criminal-justice system. It’s something for parents to handle privately with their children — and that’s all it is.