I'm not sure the kids are going to like this.
At least not the kids in California. For it seems the California Senate has, with a show of hands that left none hanging, decided to add sexting to the list of bad behavior for which a student can be expelled from school.
In a move that seemed designed to avoid too much naked publicity, the Associated Press reported that the Senate passed a bill Tuesday that specifically cited sexting and defined it as "the sending or receiving of sexually explicit pictures or video images by means of an electronic act."
Should you be a parent, or should you, indeed, be a school student sitting with your cell phone with little to do, you might be wondering just how extensive the Senate's delineation might be.
Well, the ever-helpful AVN reports that the bill actually amends California's Education Code.
This limits schools' ability to expel to the following areas: 1. While on school grounds. 2. While going to or coming from school. 3. During the lunch period whether on or off the campus. 4. During, or while going to or coming from, a school sponsored activity.
Oh, and there's another subsection that the sexting has to be "directed specifically toward a pupil or school personnel."
Sharp minds will be immediately wafting through the nuances of all this. My blunt one suggests that it might still be just fine for, say, a 14-year-old to text a naked picture of himself to anyone, so long as the recipient has nothing to do with the school.
So will this cause scenes in which schools not only attempt to discover what students are sending but also try to ascertain whether the recipient is on their verboten list? Some might find this very slightly icky.
However, Democratic Senator Ted Lieu told the AP that sexting is a vast problem, so much so that one study declared that 20 percent of teens have either sexted or received sexts. However, how much of that sexting activity was, in fact, between teens in the same school?
I know America has a peculiarly difficult relationship with private parts. This is true even in California. San Francisco is just one of California's cities that is considering banning circumcision.
But there might be more people than merely members of the ACLU who find this bill just slightly peculiar. Clearly, no parents want their child to be prey to pestering of whatever form by others at their school. Is this the right way to handle it?
I have another thought, though, about what might be behind this attempt to control teens' technology. It seems politicians have themselves become prone to using technological devices to exercise their sexual desires while sitting at desks.
First, there was the Italian politician who was caught surfing an escort site on his iPad. In parliament.
Then, just this past April, there was the antiporn Indonesian politician who was espied surfing for porn on his iPad. Oh, yes, he was in parliament too.
So might it be that the California Senate is less concerned with teens potentially upsetting other teens and more concerned about these kids growing up to be like, well, so many politicians? You know, dirty old men?