I don’t understand this. I don’t understand the parents’ thinking at all.
I can understand reporting a child to the police who is a danger to others, who has committed a serious crime, who is a burgeoning sociopath or psychopath who needs to be stopped before something terrible occurs. I can understand when not doing so amounts to being an accessory and an accomplice. It has to be the most wrenching of parental decisions, but I understand these things.
This, however, I don’t understand.
In Dinwiddie County, Virginia, parents became suspicious, and checked their 13-year-old daughter’s cell phone and tablet. They discovered their daughter, soon to enter the eighth-grade, had been sending and receiving naked pictures of other teens, including those who were much older, 17 and 18.
CBS reports that the parents called in the sheriff’s office, even though it means that she might be charged with a crime. “We did this now to protect her for now and in the future, because this could get worse. She could be taken,” she said.
She could also become the victim of an overzealous prosecutor, and end up in the criminal justice system for what is essentially pre-crime, become cynical and hardened before her time, and be permanently scarred, never to trust her parents again.
The story is sketchy, so there may be facts we don’t know. Before I would call the cops on my child at 13 for what is essentially high-tech flirting, I would consider..
- Grounding her.
- Taking away her electronic devices.
- Getting her counseling.