Friday, May 24, 2013

Sexting Scandal on Evanston Township High School's Baseball Team

My local Twitter feed blew up today with news that the Evanston Township High School (ETHS) baseball team has canceled the remainder of its season because of a sexting scandal of some sort:
On the eve of regional playoffs at Evanston Township High School, the athletic director told parents in a letter that the baseball team would forfeit the season, following allegations that players were sending indecent photographs via text message.
I don't really know what to make of this. Is sexting really so terrible? Even if it is, why not just suspend the evil-doers? Why "forfeit the season"? What is the lesson here?

I don't care at all about local high school baseball, but this possible overreaction to teenage sexuality seems like a troubling trend.


  1. To answer your questions:
    1. Sexting between two consenting adults is not terrible. High school kids should not be sexting. Here, it appears that the players forwarded sexts they received to third-parties. No one should forward sexts (if that is a word) they receive to third-parties,

    2. It is not clear to me when the sexting took place. Maybe they could not field a team without the offending players a suspension operated the same way as a forfit.

    3. I think the real lesson here is that Emily Bazelon has a pretty easy job.

  2. Sending pictures of minors in sexually explicit poses is against the law. This is a big deal. Your response does a disservice to students, teachers and administrators. Dumb. Plain dumb.

    1. In what way does my response (which was simply to ask questions) do a "disservice" to anyone?

    2. Another question: if this is a "big deal," why is the matter being left to high school officials rather than being entrusted to the criminal justice system, where the accused would be entitled to due process, etc.? Notably, both the police department and the department of children and family services declined to take any action. This somewhat weakens the "big deal" argument.

      It seems to me that the proper course here was for school officials to report the matter to the police and DCFS and let them decide whether any action was appropriate under the law. To the extent that the baseball players' conduct violated an athletic code or similar protocol, those players could have been suspended under those provisions. That may well be what happened. But by "forfeiting the season" it seems that that a lot of innocent people were punished unnecessarily (and tarred with guilt by association), and what probably should have been a private affair became a big public controversy.


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