Sexting, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is sending sexual pictures to someone else with a cell phone.
Increasingly popular among teenagers, the trend has led to some teens being charged with child pornography and left them facing serious jail time and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender. Many times the intentions are (relatively) innocent - the teens just think of it as flirting - but after a relationship goes sour, the photos can end up being distributed throughout a school.
Naperville state Rep. Darlene Senger is sponsoring a bill that will make it illegal for a minor under the age of 17 to knowingly disseminate any material that depicts nudity or other sexual conduct.
Those caught would meet with a juvenile officer and receive consequences such as community service, writing term papers, apology letters, curfew regulations and allowing parents to install software on their cell phones to closely monitor their child.
Under current law, sending a naked or lewd display of genitalia of a minor is a felony, as is requesting that someone else take, receive or distribute such an image.
Senger's bill would seek to step back from the severe penalties currently permitted by law and take more of an educational approach, at least for first-time offenders.
Do you think sexting should be a crime? And if so, what is the appropriate level of punishment?