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posted by azrael on Tuesday July 08 2014, @06:20PM   Printer-friendly
from the educate-or-keep-them-ignorant? dept.

The Daily Mail reports that children in the UK may receive school lessons about sexting.

Children as young as nine could be taught in school about the dangers of sexting.

New sex education packs produced by a charity warn girls not to send 'sexy and pouting' pictures using their mobile phones.

They suggest telling children of seven not to email photos of themselves in swimming costumes in case they fall into the hands of paedophiles.

The article goes on to say:

The lessons are part of a pack, launched last week, that schools can download for £299 a year.

Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said it was 'symptomatic of a mindset that thinks young children should take responsibility for their own safety, when in reality it is the job of parents to protect them'.

He added: 'To address such issues in the classroom runs the risk of introducing ideas and thoughts that many children are not ready for. In some cases [it] is likely to breed an unhealthy distrust and suspicion of adults.'

Meanwhile, UK polticians are calling for lessons to "tackle the rise of sexist abuse fuelled by internet porn" and the UK, Australia and the Philippines are currently engulfed in pedophile scandals.

Related Stories

Police Request Permission to take Nude Photo of Minor Sexting Suspect 58 comments

[ Submitter's note: It gets worse. Both the summary and/or article contain a NSFW (but legal) picture and potentially shocking descriptions not meant to be lurid, but to inform the reader of the current state of a society's handling of a technological aspect of life. ]

Hot on the heels of this related article, The Atlantic one-ups the previous article in bringing to light the increasing hysteria revolving the sexting of minors, truly a new low for American absurdity (paraphrased):

A male minor is forced by adults to submit to an injection that makes his penis erect. The adults command him to strip and photograph his genitals against his will. I am not describing the twisted crime of a registered sex offender. Incredibly, that was the scenario that prosecutors in Prince William County hoped to arrange, according to reports in the Washington Post and at an NBC News affiliate. The boy was already forced to let law enforcement photograph his flaccid penis, the articles add.

The alleged crimes which ostensibly justify this most intrusive and traumatizing investigation? The teen's lawyer, Jessica Harbeson Foster, spoke to the newspaper: "Foster said the case began when the teen's 15-year-old girlfriend sent photos of herself to the 17-year-old, who in turn sent her the video in question. The girl has not been charged, and her mother filed a complaint about the boy's video. "

For committing those heinous crimes, two felony charges were brought - possession of child pornography and manufacturing child pornography. Potential penalties, should the minor be found guilty, are incarceration until age 21 and registering (possibly for life) as a sex-offender.

Fortunately, the case got enough attention in the media, and Manassas Police Lt. Brian Larkin said the Police Department will not proceed with the plan to take the pictures and will let a search warrant authorizing the photos to expire. However, according to an official statement released yesterday evening the police have confirmed that they will continue charging the defendant with manufacturing and distribution of child pornography.

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by lhsi on Tuesday July 08 2014, @06:21PM

    by lhsi (711) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @06:21PM (#66096) Journal

    The Daily Mail is not a trustworthy source, has this been reported elsewhere?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by egcagrac0 on Tuesday July 08 2014, @06:50PM

    by egcagrac0 (2705) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @06:50PM (#66111)

    Instead of cautioning against posting risque pictures of 9 year old girls online (or via phone, or..), perhaps they should be taught how every networked device they're likely to use for the rest of their lives will be monitored, and that they shouldn't say anything that they don't want others to hear.

    Privacy in general, instead of just keeping your privates private.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:01PM (#66120)

      Yes. The whole sexting hysteria is just overblown moral panic [cracked.com] from old people who didn't grow up with cellphones. It's just the modern version of flirting. [umich.edu] The next generation has a lot more to worry about from pervasive surveillance than they do from teenage sexual expression.

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:36PM

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:36PM (#66179) Homepage

        It's not so much "moral panic," a lot of those assholes are just jealous that they never got to have that kind of fun as kids. Some of those assholes also surround themselves with kids, coaching girls' swim of volleyball teams, to proclaim how much they care about their community while providing cover for their perving and dick-kneading. This is really about their own self-loathing and guilt issues rather than "protecting the children."

        It's why we have things like Purity Balls [wikipedia.org] here -- "If I can't have you underage, nobody will, daughter dearest!"

        The only actual moral panic comes from alarmist housewives (aka "useful idiots") who are afraid of every piece of bullshit they read in the news.

        • (Score: 2) by mrider on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:38PM

          by mrider (3252) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:38PM (#66180)

          Wow, don't hold back!

          --

          Doctor: "Do you hear voices?"

          Me: "Only when my bluetooth is charged."

        • (Score: 2) by egcagrac0 on Wednesday July 09 2014, @03:50AM

          by egcagrac0 (2705) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @03:50AM (#66343)

          just jealous that they never got to have that kind of fun as kids.

          Polaroid made an instant camera and instant film, back in the day (1948 until digital cameras took over). No need to share the pictures with people at the drugstore, 90 seconds and you've got a print to go and fap with later.

          If they didn't get to have that kind of fun, it's because they weren't trying, not because it wasn't feasible to take a nekkid selfie and slip it to someone with a note.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09 2014, @01:24PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 09 2014, @01:24PM (#66499)
            They might have been up to that fun. It's just harder to distribute 1000000 copies of the polaroid picture to "everyone" overnight.
            • (Score: 2) by egcagrac0 on Wednesday July 09 2014, @04:02PM

              by egcagrac0 (2705) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @04:02PM (#66581)

              Right. The concern shouldn't be "don't share pictures of your butt", so much as "the modern technology for sharing a picture of your butt with that friend of yours makes it very easy for them to share it with everyone else in the world, and also makes it possible for people who you didn't want to see a picture of your butt to see it".

              There is a valid concern for the "... with a computer!" part here, but it's that the people involved don't necessarily understand the implications of the underlying technology - not that sharing a picture of your butt with someone is intrinsically wrong.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by cafebabe on Tuesday July 08 2014, @09:02PM

        by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @09:02PM (#66198) Journal

        Some would argue that we are edging closer to Utopia:-

        In choosing their wives they use a method that would appear to us very absurd and ridiculous, but it is constantly observed among them, and is accounted perfectly consistent with wisdom. Before marriage some grave matron presents the bride, naked, whether she is a virgin or a widow, to the bridegroom, and after that some grave man presents the bridegroom, naked, to the bride. We, indeed, both laughed at this, and condemned it as very indecent. But they, on the other hand, wondered at the folly of the men of all other nations, who, if they are but to buy a horse of a small value, are so cautious that they will see every part of him, and take off both his saddle and all his other tackle, that there may be no secret ulcer hid under any of them, and that yet in the choice of a wife, on which depends the happiness or unhappiness of the rest of his life, a man should venture upon trust, and only see about a handsbreadth of the face, all the rest of the body being covered, under which may lie hid what may be contagious as well as loathsome. All men are not so wise as to choose a woman only for her good qualities, and even wise men consider the body as that which adds not a little to the mind, and it is certain there may be some such deformity covered with clothes as may totally alienate a man from his wife, when it is too late to part with her; if such a thing is discovered after marriage a man has no remedy but patience; they, therefore, think it is reasonable that there should be good provision made against such mischievous frauds.

        Thomas Moore also had relevant stuff to say about identikit malls and serving wenches in food halls.

        --
        1702845791×2
        • (Score: 2) by mojo chan on Wednesday July 09 2014, @07:38AM

          by mojo chan (266) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @07:38AM (#66399)

          Wouldn't it be better to go on a few dates, get to know the other's personality (since most of the time they won't be naked, and you aren't allowed to duct tape their mouth shut), and then if you can stand to be around them have sex a few times to ensure compatibility in that department too?

          More worryingly it sounds like Moore is saying unattractive women are worthless... Maybe he always had sex with the lights on, but when it comes to enjoyment looks are just a nice bonus.

          --
          const int one = 65536; (Silvermoon, Texture.cs)
          • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Wednesday July 09 2014, @08:22AM

            by cafebabe (894) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @08:22AM (#66409) Journal

            Thomas More definitely wasn't a sex-before-marriage kind of guy. However, he saw beyond looks. From http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2130/2130-h/2130-h.htm [gutenberg.org]:-

            More's earnest character caused him while studying law to aim at the subduing of the flesh, by wearing a hair shirt, taking a log for a pillow, and whipping himself on Fridays.

            and he was beheaded because he didn't switch from Catholic to Protestant or endorse Henry VIII's divorce. From http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/morebio.htm [luminarium.org]:-

            In April, 1534, More refused to swear to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy, and was committed to the Tower of London on April 17. More was found guilty of treason and was beheaded alongside Bishop Fisher on July 6, 1535. More's final words on the scaffold were: "The King's good servant, but God's First." More was beatified in 1886 and canonized by the Catholic Church as a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

            I'm unable to find the reference, but I read that it was only possible to determine Thomas More's age by his hands and that he and his wife were like teenage lovers. The implication was that his wife was less attractive but he saw something deeper.

            He would have very probably had sex with the lights off but only because candles were expensive.

            --
            1702845791×2
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:24PM (#66135)

    There obviously were no pedophiles before the internet... Damn that al Gore guy!

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jimshatt on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:24PM

    by jimshatt (978) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:24PM (#66136) Journal
    My daughter of 9 doesn't have a smartphone but some of her classmates do and she does have a tablet. The whole sexy pictures thing isn't in her mindset at all ATM, but it differs from person to person (I say person because I think boys should be equally protective of their private parts).
    Since there have been things happening around the school my children are on, I don't think it would hurt talking about stuff like this. But subtlety is *very* important. It's a very difficult task to keep your children innocent whilst also trying to protect them and make them aware of the need to protect themselves.

    Of course, privacy in general is a hugely important subject that should be touched in school and at home. But saying "don't teach about sexuality (including modern communication thereof), teach about privacy" is unproductive. They are not mutually exclusive.
    • (Score: 3) by LoRdTAW on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:40PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:40PM (#66182) Journal

      You want to hear something unsettling: My innocence was gone at age 9.
      When I was around 9 a family moved into the corner house. A mother, father and girl my age. We became friends and played a lot. But soon after the start she always wanted to make out, kiss, so we did. I never understood it but I went along with it. One odd thing she wanted to pretend play was that we were having an affair. I didn't even understand what affair was, I thought it was like a country fair or carnival. At the time I knew it was naughty and bad but I liked it. I remember us looking looking through her dads porno mags and found a box of prono in the parents bedroom (cant remember if we watched any of the videos, I think we were too scared of getting caught). We never had intercourse, but there was sexual exploration including masterbation. It peaked when the two of us would lie in her bed completely naked embraced, kissing and massaging each others privates (her parents didn't come home until 6pm). We were 10 at the time. Shortly thereafter her father transferred to a job in pennsylvania so they quickly moved. Lesson: girls can be just as curious and instigate. From memory her parents seemed normal, they were always nice to me but that was a long time ago. But I believe there were issues going on that I was too young to understand or pick up. If she had not moved I suspect we would have been having sex at age 10/11. A parents nightmare.

      My advice is to give your kids the talk, even at 8 or 9.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @10:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @10:24PM (#66233)

        My advice is to give your kids the talk, even at 8 or 9.

        The Talk should occur at the first signs of puberty, regardless of age. Hormones make people do things on autopilot, and even they may not understand why they're suddenly so interested to the opposite (or same) sex, but they will quickly discover that the things they've no doubt started to do to themselves when that interest starts is a lot better when done with another person. Denying it and chastising it and saying its a Bad Thing will only lead to trauma, teenage pregnancies, and possibly diseases that they'll live with for the rest of their life without even understanding whats going on.

    • (Score: 2) by egcagrac0 on Wednesday July 09 2014, @11:54AM

      by egcagrac0 (2705) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @11:54AM (#66457)

      saying "don't teach about sexuality (including modern communication thereof), teach about privacy" is unproductive

      I envision the instruction going something like this: "People you don't know will be watching what you say and do on the (phone/tablet/computer). I understand you might want to show a particular someone some pictures, but are you ready for that person to share them with everyone else? Are you ready for strangers to see your pictures, too?"

      If you were aiming at me with the "don't teach about sexuality, teach about privacy" bit, I want them to teach both. If the focus is on "don't send pictures of your butt", they might miss out on the important broader concept - don't send what you don't want monitored (which may very well include pictures of your butt).

      I am not trying to shield my daughter and keep her innocent. I'm trying to prepare her for the world. She's 3 at the moment, and still at that stage where she thinks it's cute to run around with her butt out. We're working on "don't take your butt out at Grandma's, leave it put away" at the moment, while trying not to scare her of nudity in general. Situational propriety is the goal, but... she's 3, and she has a habit of stripping down, running into the living room, waving her butt at everyone, smacking it a few times, and scampering away giggling.

      On the upside, she's not posting it online.

      • (Score: 2) by jimshatt on Wednesday July 09 2014, @06:51PM

        by jimshatt (978) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @06:51PM (#66667) Journal

        On the upside, she's not posting it online

        No, but you are! ;-P
        But, yes, I was aiming at you, because you used the word "instead" instead of the word "besides" that you apparently mean. And I agree.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:38PM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 08 2014, @07:38PM (#66143) Journal

    Take care with this story. The Daily Mail is not known for being an authoritative source for this sort of announcement.

    Firstly, there are no 'is' or 'are' - but 'may be', 'could' and 'might' - there is probably more speculation in this newspaper report than actual facts.

    Secondly, the 'lesson plans' (which can be purchased for £299-00!) are being produce by the Family Planning Association - an organisation that would love to push this idea because it will make them money, as well as let them appear to be leaders of our moral well-being. This is not funded into the curriculum nor is there any indication that schools have shown any significant interest. 'Sex Education' in general is part of the curriculum, appropriate to the age of the pupil.

    Finally, I think it is something that children need to be aware of - my wife is a former teacher and assures me that it would have been something she would have tackled however, it would not have been covered by all teachers - but the lesson could be easily taught by a reasonably competent teacher without spending any money. Parents also have an important lead role in this aspect of their children’s' education. If the FPA think it is so important, why don't they fund it themselves? After all, that would be within their remit.

    --
    I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:27PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:27PM (#66169)

      > Take care with this story. The Daily Mail is not known for being an authoritative source for this sort of announcement.

      The only time it is acceptable to cite the Daily Heil is when they are reporting on a story from another source and their coverage is more accessible (not sensationalized, just accessible, like with better pictures). Anything else from them isn't worth wiping your ass with.

      • (Score: 2) by EvilJim on Wednesday July 09 2014, @12:27AM

        by EvilJim (2501) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @12:27AM (#66274) Journal

        I would've thought it was also ok to cite them when you're comparing contradictory stories both from them... such as their list of cancer causing things.

        • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Wednesday July 09 2014, @08:44AM

          by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 09 2014, @08:44AM (#66417) Journal

          It's perfectly fine to cite them - and the story does.But this story is more likely as a result of the FPA providing a story that sells what they propose and the DM taking it at face value. Teachers are trained to produce lesson plans, they get paid for producing lesson plans, but here a charity is now trying to sell lesson plans for a subject with is already covered within the description of 'Sexual Education'. The education system is providing no additional funding for the £299.00 for the first year and a lesser amount for subsequent years. But hang on - why do you have to pay every year? Surely once you have the lesson plan you could use it for ever, perhaps tweaking it as changes in circumstances necessitate. This is an advertisement which just happens to coincide (convenient that... isn't it?) with the Governments current panic regarding paedophilia. As I mentioned in an early post, my wife is a retired teacher. Wherever she has worked, she and the other staff have produced lesson plans, placed them in a library of plans, and all teachers can use them for as long as they wish with no additional expense whatsoever.

          I also question what this has to do with family planning - it is not for educating pupils on the various forms of contraception (for which the FPA has a remit) but as a warning that 'photos of 9 year olds in their swimming costume might be seen by paedophiles'. It is, in my opinion, the FPA picking up on the current public mood and trying to make a quick profit.

          --
          I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 3) by cafebabe on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:43PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @08:43PM (#66185) Journal

      Why take chances with your own lesson plan when it is only £299. Think of the children!

      --
      1702845791×2
      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Wednesday July 09 2014, @01:10AM

        by tftp (806) on Wednesday July 09 2014, @01:10AM (#66294) Homepage

        £299 is the cost of a yearly subscription for the entire school. It's not per student. This money is a drop in the ocean. One teacher is paid something like this for a mere couple days of work.

        If the school does not see value in this course... they don't have to buy the subscription. If some do buy, it only proves that either the course is useful, or that the school is managed by fools (and then nothing else matters.)

  • (Score: 1) by cybro on Tuesday July 08 2014, @11:59PM

    by cybro (1144) on Tuesday July 08 2014, @11:59PM (#66255)

    Oh really? Thanks summary, I wasn't aware that my country was "engulfed" until you told me.