The "sexting" trend is landing teenagers in trouble across the country, said Mike Celiznic in MSNBC, but it cost Jessica Logan, 18, her life. The teenager did what many teens are doing—she sent nude photos of herself via cell-phone text message to her boyfriend. But when they broke up, he allegedly shared the images with other girls, and after enduring months of shame and embarrassment, Logan's mother told Today's Matt Lauer, the teenager hanged herself in her bedroom.
This fad "needs to be stopped," said the Wheeling, W.Va., Intelligencer in an editorial. "'Sexting' can do terrible emotional damage to its victims—even if they also happen to be perpetrators." But police, educators, and parents need to handle each case carefully, because treating "foolish teenagers" like grown-up sex offenders can heighten the shame and do them more harm than good.
Police don't know how to handle these cases, said Chris Dannen in Fast Company, because child pornography laws seem out of place when the kids themselves are the pornographers. But the grown-ups should take a deep breath and calm down. This isn't a social revolution that will turn all our kids into amateur porn stars—it's a fad that's happening because kids suddenly have a new technology to play with. Scary, yes, but it won't last.