The column by Anne Michaud, "Avoid becoming sexting casualty" [Opinion, Nov. 12], missed the opportunity to point out the horrors of this story. We adults should be setting a better example. If pleading with parents to monitor their children's use of the Internet is the only solution she can come up with, our children are surely doomed.
Never once did Michaud tell these parents that their underage children should never be participants in this type, or any other type, of sexual behavior. The type of sex education being taught today isn't teaching children to respect themselves and others.
We have failed our children miserably.
Gira Freiberg, Plainview
In "A plea to parents" [News, Nov. 11], school officials urged parents to talk with their children about the dangers of misusing social media, but the officials didn't specifically tackle the issue of the content of these messages: a sexual act between teenagers with an onlooker recording them.
Conversations between parents and children are desperately needed regarding sexuality, respect for one's body and the bodies of others, the consequences of sexual activity and unacceptable interactions between teens who are too young to be mutually consenting to sex.
Teens are bombarded with sexual images and content, which glamorizes and condones explicit sexual behavior. Parents lack oversight of their children's use of social media and are slipping further away from moral teachings, which also contributes to the problem.
We need to go to the root of the problem. We can't send the message that as long as you're careful about it, then there is no problem. The problem is clearly much bigger than that!
Dorothy Mancini, Smithtown
Regarding the recent sexting scandal involving the Kings Park and Smithtown students, I wonder why some parents object to kids being suspended ["Felony 'sext' charges," News, Nov. 10]. What would their reaction be if it were their sons or daughters in the video?
Better parenting is required all around. Do 14- and 16-year-olds really need cellphones? Do they really need them while school is in session? Worse yet, kids younger than 14 have cellphones. Why? Are they spoiled brats?
Bernie McGrath, Holbrook
The 20 students facing sexting charges demonstrate why kids with smartphones have dumb parents ["Felony 'sext' charges," News, Nov. 10]. Why do indulgent parents give kids high-tech toys that put them at risk?
Why not give them a pre-paid cellphone with limited minutes for talking only? No more sexting, texting, tweeting or other dumb and dangerous Internet actions.
Sure, kids will scream, but let them. What happened to the three little words parents once told their children: "No, you can't." Kids will grasp that message. It's fewer that 140 characters and shorter than six seconds.
Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills