AUSTRALIAN  PRAYER  NETWORK  NEWSLETTER – AUSTRALIAN NEWS 23rd OCTOBER 2013

THE OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR A PERIOD OF 6 WEEKS TO ENABLE STAFF TO UNDERTAKE STRATEGIC PRAYER ASSIGNMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND TO TAKE A SHORT BREAK AT THE END TO RECOVER FROM THE INTENSE PERIOD OF ACTIVITY AND PRAYER.  PRE-PREPARED EDITIONS OF AUSTRALIAN NEWS WILL CONTINUE TO BE PUBLISHED DURING THIS TIME BUT IN AN ABRIDGED FORM.  AUSTRALIAN NEWS WILL RESUME FULL PUBLICATION ON WEDNESDAY 6th NOVEMBER.

  • THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF SEXTING COULD HARM OUR TEENAGERS’ FUTURES
     

THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF SEXTING COULD HARM OUR TEENAGERS’ FUTURES

Police have warned a group of 13-year-old students that they face being listed on the sex-offenders register after a boy took photos of his genitals and emailed them to friends, who forwarded them on to others.  South Australian Attorney-General John Rau said he would review laws relating to juveniles and child pornography, after the incident was raised in state parliament by independent MP Bob Such. “The police are in a difficult situation because the law says to have images of children naked and then to send them around the place is an offence,” Mr Rau said. 

Dr Such raised the matter after the parents of a girl, 13, contacted him to complain that police had been heavy handed in dealing with the “pornography” incident. The mother said her daughter had been told she would be unable to work with children later in life if she was placed on the sex-offenders register. “The law is to protect children from predators, not to turn silly 13-year-olds into criminals,” Dr Such said. Police Commissioner Gary Burns said the boy from Adelaide’s southern suburbs took the photos during the July school holidays and sent them to three friends. Mr Burns said the images were then “widely disseminated”. 

Police reported one youth for producing and disseminating child-exploitation material. Three others who initially received the photos were reported for possessing and disseminating the material. Mr Burns said police contacted other students and requested they delete the material. They also presented a cyber-crime and sexting seminar. “As part of that process, it is responsible and appropriate that police inform students of the possible life-long repercussions that a seemingly harmless prank can have,” Mr Burns said. “This includes potential criminal proceedings and being placed on the sex-offenders register.” 

An Education Department spokesman said five children were suspended. Three have returned to school and two have been excluded for the term, to return next month. He said students offended by the photos reported them on July 23, the first day after the school holidays, to school staff, who lodged a critical-incident report the next day. Parents were notified 24 hours later. The Education Department denied reports that the photos were taken using a school-issued iPad. Mr Burns said he would work with the government to support legislative changes to differentiate between juveniles committing low-level sexting and other serious criminal offences. 

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said the issue needed to be investigated because there could be young people caught by a system that tarred their reputations for life for a “silly prank”.  He said children had some protection because judges could decide if “a child who is an offender of this sort goes on the sexual-offenders register”.  There are currently no juveniles on the South Australian sexual-offenders register. Juveniles in NSW are not placed on the register, but they are in Queensland. Victoria has one juvenile on its register, but police said their offence did not relate to sexting.

Source: Compiled by APN from media sources