My husband and I had a pretty big fight last night over the subject of the proper punishment for teens caught “sexting” [“ 3 boys guilty in Fairfax ‘sexting ,’” Metro, April 19]. Perhaps I simply can’t be objective about this. For thousands of years, a tremendous burden has been placed on women like me to keep our daughters safe. We train them to be ever on the alert: never go out alone at night; never drink something at a party that you didn’t pour yourself; never let down your guard, even with boys and men you think are your friends. Is it a surprise that I’m pleased that the mothers and fathers of sons now have to be afraid that if they don’t teach their sons not to have sex with girls who are too drunk to say yes, take pictures of them and send them to their buddies that they might get labeled sex offenders and sent to jail?

Maybe fear is exactly what some parents need to motivate them to raise their sons differently.

Allison Cox, Gaithersburg


What’s the difference between child pornography and sexting? Simple. Child pornography is disseminated by a degenerate, middle-aged man, sitting in his mother’s basement, wearing a dirty T-shirt, hacking on an old computer. Sexting is done by good, middle-class teens, with many opportunities ahead of them, wearing the latest clothes, using the latest technological toys. In other words, when it’s our kids who abuse, debase and mistreat their peers and then laugh about it on toys that we bought for them to keep them out of our lives, it’s just kids having fun.

Phooey. A person who abuses or takes advantage of another in this way, especially when the one abused is a child, has committed a crime that deserves the highest punishment available. He did the deed; he pays the price. Period. Maybe, just maybe, some of their peers will learn from the punishment.

Daniel B. Johnston, Gaithersburg