A 15yr old boy from Barrington, RI meets a 16yr old girl at summer school. They start talking through Facebook and when the girl became "uncomfortable" with the inappropriate content of the messages, she got the cops involved. After an investigation, this boy is now facing charges of cyber stalking.
Are we serious? Granted, we don't know what the boy wrote yet, but she didn't say she felt "threatened", so I question whether police involvement was really necessary. And using the feeling "uncomfortable" as a yard stick to determine whether charges are brought is essentially meaningless and ripe for abuse because that feeling is so broad. Even the lawmaker who wrote the bill noted that this outcome wasn't her intention, but then in the next breath supported the action, noting "the law might stop it from happening to someone else."
What exactly is the it that the lawmaker thinks the law will stop? "Uncomfortable" messages from being sent from boys to girls? Good luck -- that's high school. And where are the parents in all this? I know this will make me look really old, but when I was growing up, that's how these kinds of situations were handled -- girl tells her parents, her parents call boy's parents, boy's parents mete out adequate punishment while explaining to boy the proper way to talk to a female.
The whole point of keeping the cops out of it is to allow the kids to learn from these kinds of mistakes without the permanent mark of a criminal record. But with this "law creep" we've seen over the last 5-10 years or so where more and more laws and penalties are applicable to minors, these kids are afforded fewer and fewer mistakes. What should have been a minor incident may leave this kid with a permanent criminal record. What do you think his future job prospects will look like with a "cyber stalking" conviction following him around?