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Thu Feb 8, 2018, 12:04 PM

If a School Cop Threatens Your 13-Year-Old with Child Porn Charges for Sexting, Get a Lawyer

Retweeted by TreasonHat: https://twitter.com/Popehat

If there is one lesson I've learned from @reason and @Popehat it is this, when in contact with the authorities, "Lawyer The Fuck Up." Or LTFU for short.

In case you missed it: The father who did everything right when cops threatened to his 13-year-old son with felony charges

If a School Cop Threatens Your 13-Year-Old with Child Porn Charges for Sexting, Get a Lawyer

Families should never consent to have school resource officers search kids' phones.

Robby Soave | Feb. 7, 2018 9:21 am

Teen sexting stories are filled with kids who had no clue they were breaking the law when they swapped inappropriate photos of their own bodies—and with parents who didn't realize they couldn't trust the school or the cops to be reasonable. Carl was determined not to be one of those parents.

Last November, Carl received a call from Ms. Martin, an assistant principal at the middle school attended by his two sons, ages 13 and 12. Martin said the older son, Tommy, had shared a sexually inappropriate Snapchat image with some other students at the school. (I'm using pseudonyms for the people in this story and have not contacted the school, out of concern that Carl's family could face retaliation for coming forward.)

Several days later, after hiring a lawyer, Carl spoke with Martin again. He told her, in no uncertain terms, "I've instructed both of my boys that they are not to answer any more questions from the administration or the police at school in regards to this matter without parental or legal representation." ... The statement caught the assistant principal off guard.

"She started stuttering and stammering a little bit about how she wasn't a part of the police and that they didn't need to speak to attorneys," Carl told me. "That that's not their job, and this or that or the other thing." ... Carl was wise to ignore this assertion. The assistant principal isn't a cop, but the school—a public institution in the Midwest—did indeed employ a school resource officer: a law enforcement agent who works in the school but retains the powers of a typical cop. And in fact, Officer Jordan had warned Carl that his son might have committed felony distribution of child pornography. (Because of Carl's concerns about retaliation, I did not speak with anyone at the school. But Carl shared documentation with me in order to confirm his story, including emails between him and his lawyer on the days in question.)

Reason is sponsoring a panel at South By Southwest 2018 on the wrongful criminalization of teen sexting. The event is on March 8 in Austin, Texas. It will feature the journalist Emily Yoffe, the sociologist Emily Horowitz, Austin's mother Amy Lawrence, and me.

Photo Credit: Isabella Antonelli / Dreamstime

Associate Editor Robby Soave, a 2017–2018 Novak Fellow at the Fund for American Studies, is the author of a forthcoming book about campus activism in the age of Trump.


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Reply If a School Cop Threatens Your 13-Year-Old with Child Porn Charges for Sexting, Get a Lawyer (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2018 OP
Nay Feb 2018 #1
msongs Feb 2018 #2

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Feb 8, 2018, 12:58 PM

1. I second this. DON'T WAIT. Once contact is made, politely say that you will

be contacting a lawyer to handle everything, and tell your kid to STFU until you and the lawyer get to the jail. I had a similar experience with a young relative that only went well because we lawyered up.

Oh, and don't get a cheap-ass lawyer -- get the best you can afford. Ask some of your wealthier friends who to call. I wrote checks for thousands of dollars and it was worth every penny.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Feb 8, 2018, 01:19 PM

2. and maybe the parent should have a little chat with his kids about sexual displays on a phone nt

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