Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Just Talk to the Kids, That’ll Take Care of It!

Posted by Maggie on August 21, 2007

Thanks to Sex Crimes for this story. There’s now a push in reaction to the Genarlow Wilson case to educate teens about sex laws in Georgia.

“We do a disgraceful job of educating kids about the very real consequences that they face,” said former DeKalb County District Attorney J. Tom Morgan, who has a new book coming out, “Ignorance Is No Defense: A Teenagers Guide to Georgia Law.”

Of course he has a new book coming out. More after the jump…

I’ve worked with plenty of adults and plenty of kids and it’s true that a lot of them are uninformed.  When I had a heavy juvenile caseload, it got to the point where I wanted to go to the local schools and give lectures telling kids it wasn’t a good idea to bring a boxcutter to school even if some kid said they would jump you.  I wanted to tell them how unforgiving their administrators would be and that they’d all get shipped off to the “alternative school” where they’d be babysat for a good year or so while no one pays any attention to their actual education.

Still, you’d think we should focus a little more on whether anything in this law is a good idea for teenagers in the first place.  I’m all for educating, but I think we ought to really examine whether we need more than just a Romeo and Juliet exception.  And part of me thinks that this “education” idea is just another way to scare kids out of sex.  I’m all for responsibility and respect, but I think that’s a smarter way to go than scare tactics.

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