Texting. Texting. Texting. Texting. Texting. Texting. Texting. Texting. AND…MORE…Texting!
Teenagers enjoy texting a LOT, That is why today’s YDS Panel Question involves texting….
Today’s YDS Panel Question is: Do You Think Parents Should be Able to Access Their Child’s Text Messages?
Here’s what our YDS Panel thinks on whether or not parents should be able to access their child’s text messages!
Recently, Arizona Senator Rich Crandall introduced legislation that would permit parents to view their children’s text messages, sans court order. Sounds reasonable? We think so.
Because parents can be held legally responsible for their children’s actions and because parents are responsible for their children’s care, many of us feel that parents should be able to access their children’s text messages, without a court order—especially, when parents are footing the phone bill.
But, we‘re unsure whether Senator Crandall’s bill—if adopted—would accomplish much: if children knew their parents could procure their texts, they’d simply stop texting the sort of texts that parents are so anxious to read. Or, they’d keep a concealed cell and use it to text what they don’t want their parents to read. Whatever the machination(s), we suspect that many parents would not get to the “juicy stuff”—for that, they’d be better off following Senator Judy Burges’ advice: “take a flashlight [and the cell] and go in the closet and read the texts.”
Rosemary Dickinson (Waterford, Michigan) – “I say no because we need are space.just like parents do. What if we went through there phone they wouldn’t like it so don’t do it.to us. We have stuff we don’t want parents to hear between are friends. If, they found out they would ground us so I say no. They dont need to or have no right to go through our phones!”
Panel Story: State Bills Seek Parental Access to Children’s Text Messages
Source: USA Today
Parents who want access to text messages sent to and from their child’s phone currently need a court order to compel a cellphone company to provide it, even if the parent pays the bill.
A state law being proposed in Arizona could be the first in the nation to change that.
Republican state Sen. Rich Crandall has proposed a law to require cellphone companies to offer Arizona parents access to their minor children’s texts.
“If I have a 13-year-old being harassed via text, I can’t call and get those texts,” Crandall said. “This bill will allow me to at least pay to see the text messages for my children.” Under the bill, phone companies could charge a fee for that service.
The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 13, and awaits a vote in the full Senate. There is no companion bill in the House.
It remains unclear whether the state has the authority to require companies to give access to texts.
Some questioned the need for such a bill, including Republican state Sen. Judy Burges, who voted against it in committee. “Why don’t you take a flashlight and go in the closet and read the texts?” she asked.
Lisa Douglas, author of the parenting blog Crazy Adventures in Parenting, said that in her online bill she can only see the phone numbers her daughter sends and receives messages from.
“What if someone is threatening her, or harassing her, and she’s too afraid to say anything?” she said.
Paula Goldberg, executive director of PACER Center, a non-profit organization which provides resources for bullying victims, said trust and communication are the best tools against bullying.
“The issue is that parents should have good communication with their children,” Goldberg said.
The wireless industry has spoken out against the bill, saying it is impractical.
Lobbyist John Kelly, who represents Verizon Wireless, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the law would require cellphone companies to create special procedures for Arizona customers.
“We are very sympathetic to the intent, but it is a burden on the company,” he said.
Jamie Hastings, of the CTIA-The Wireless Association, said that even if the law passes, service providers would likely still need to obtain consent from the child under federal law.
Share your thoughts with us on whether or not you think parents should be able to access their child’s text messages by clicking on the white speech bubble in the top right hand corner of this post!