A “sexting” scandal has erupted at the high school in the quaint little town of Munster, Indiana. It seems that some bored young girls in need of attention did something really stupid and sent some nude photos of themselves to some young male classmates. Times certainly have changed, as I don’t recall too many girls in high school even talking to me; much less sending me racy photos.
So the young boys who were in receipt of these photos decided it might be kind of funny to pass these pictures around to some of their friends. One thing led to another, they got caught, and now they’re suspended. That should make for an interesting college interview:
College interviewer: So, tell me about some of your accomplishments in high school, young man.
Kid: Well, I was a four year letterman on the football team and I was on the honor roll each year.
College interviewer: That’s good. Now, if you could go back and do anything differently, what would that be?
Kid: Hmmmmm….well, other than try some different acne cream, I probably wouldn’t have sent those nude photos of my old girlfriend to my friends, thereby getting myself kicked out of school and making my parents the laughing stock of a very small town that truly enjoys good gossip and also….
College interviewer: It’s fine…it’s fine….I get it. Let’s move on.
I can’t say I’m surprised that kids of high school age get involved in these things. There certainly are more than enough distractions and influences that make this sort of thing bound to happen. Most any reality TV series places young women in roles of desperation and starved for attention…mostly for the attention of unsavory guys who if they showed up at my door when my daughters were young would have been escorted away in short order.
What is it about our society that makes young girls think they need to do things like transmit nude photos of themselves in order to get noticed? There seems to not only be a lack of respect by young men toward young women, but a lack respect that young women have for themselves. Things certainly have changed somewhat since I was a kid in high school in the 1970s. Back then, all the girls had to do was stand there and watch the boys trip over their own feet and make fools of themselves. Ok, maybe that was just me.
Let me go on record by saying that the sending of dirty pictures by kids to others kids during the school day is wrong (or any other time of day for that matter). I think the school officials, should they find out about this type of activity, have every right to discipline the kids involved. As this case unfolds, however, there is one thing that bothers me about the investigative techniques employed by the school.
It has been stated that if a student has a cell phone that is turned on during the school day, it can be confiscated by the school administration and searched…..voice-mail; texts and pictures can all be reviewed. Something about that just doesn’t sit well with me. Now I realize that kids need structure and they need discipline, but they also need to feel like they have some privacy as well.
Since portable cellular technology was not available in the 70s, unless you were Agent 86 Maxwell Smart and had a phone in your shoe, I guess the only thing I could compare a cell phone to would be a diary. I never wrote in a diary either, mainly because I was afraid someone might find it, read it and have me committed. Therefore, I just kept my private little rants to myself. Now that I’m old, I blog freely and say “come and get me!” But if I did want to record some of my private thoughts back then, the last thing I would want is for some teacher to pick it up and start reading something that was none of his or her business.
I’ve known a few teachers over the years, both professionally and personally, and I can tell you that they are some of the biggest gossips I’ve ever seen. Rest assured that once a spicy tidbit of information is uncovered, it will most likely find its way from the classroom to the gymnasium to the teacher’s lounge in a matter in minutes. I would hope that teachers and administrators would turn back the clock, so to speak, and consider how they would have felt at the age of sixteen if someone opened their diary and read it out loud.
It seems like it’s about this time of year, when winter starts to drag on, that people start to get bored and do some pretty foolish things. This case in Munster, IN is certainly no exception. So speaking as a wise soon-to-be-old man who has seen much and been through a lot, I offer these words of wisdom to young people everywhere. Young girls; keep your clothes on and keep the camera pointed away from you. Young boys: don’t be jerks. No charge for that advice.