image from Love, Niko
KUT reported this morning that Texas Attorney General and Craigslist world's oldest profession hater Greg Abbott is teaming up with Texas State Senator Kirk Watson (D-Austin) to...wait for it...crack down on teen sexting. I'm so glad these two venerable politicians are diving into the hot tub of bipartisanship to address this vitally important iss...oh, fuck it.
According to Abbott's website, the legislation would create a program to "educate" offending teenagers about sexting and how it's illegal because sending sexy pictures of an underage person is considered child pornography. It seems that being arrested for sending a grainy picture of one's dick would get that message across pretty clearly. But the law would also reduce the charges teens would face to a misdemeanor.
Back in February Abbott's website carried this "alert" to parents and teenagers about the dangers of sexting and the potential legal consequences, informing readers that:
Clearly, this dangerous technological trend can haunt children for years, and it is impacting schools and communities statewide. Of course, investigators and prosecutors consider the circumstances of each case before deciding whether – and which – charges charges may apply. By the time law enforcement has gotten involved, however, someone has already gotten hurt. Education and active parenting present the best way to ensure children avoid this dangerous activity.This dangerous trend is impacting schools all over the state! Riiight.
The consequences those caught sexting would face would include forced participation in the "educational" program and "reduced cell phone usage." So what we've got here, in a time when Guvnuh Goodhair is downplaying our billions-big state budget deficit, is a proposed law that would create an educational program and require cell phone monitoring for teenagers who send pictures of their tits or whatever. Will this be a revenue-generating program or does Texas just have cash to throw at teenagers engaging in regular, normal teenagery sexytime?
While I'm all for eliminating child porn charges for sexting, really, Greg Abbott? First you try to eliminate prostitution by shutting down the "adult services" section of Craigslist and now you're going to go after teenagers for sending sexy notes? In my day we made paper dolls out of porn magazine cutouts and put our friends' faces on them. To think I could be a registered sex offender if I'd been caught in Texas with those materials.
Perhaps the "educational" component of the law would create a program like p.a.p.a., the Attorney General's mandatory "paternity and parenting awareness" program in place in secondary schools in Texas that focuses on the consequences of teen childbearing and the responsibilities of fathers, but fails, of course, to include any information about, say, how to wrap up one's dick to prevent pregnancy.
One thing is for sure--Greg Abbott spends a shit-ton of time thinking about teenagers having sex. You'd think a state with 23 million people and the largest border with Mexico might have some more pressing legal issues he could address than teenagers sending sex texts.