Bad Decisions

By Cindy

A local college football coach is up on charges of possessing child p0rn. He handed in his university-issued phone to IT for maintenance & they found two videos of three naked children (ages 5-9) dancing. One report I read said that the children were making provocative gestures. I’ve included a link to the couch’s wife making a public statement that it is nothing more than a video that was taken of their children acting silly at bathtime.

http://www.startribune.com/local/167557495.html

Now, my first thought was, really, dude? On your work phone? What a maroon. But my second thought was, is it wrong? I have a few bathtub photos of my kids, and I have one funny one of Gus from behind, naked except for wearing cowboy boots & standing in front of the TV watching “Spongebob.” I’m not against naked pictures of my kids, I just haven’t been interested in having many. I don’t have any videos…my phone doesn’t take them & I usually don’t have my video camera on me.

Did the coach do wrong? Was it wrong because he was caught? Are the kids too old? I think the oldest is a girl, then a boy, & the youngest is a girl. My kids – ages 6 & 3 – still take a bath together once in a while, but they don’t ask to very often, & it’s easy if they don’t because they usually end up getting wild. We’re not walking-around-naked kind of folks, but we don’t get freaked out if the kids see us or each other. I figured that time is still coming. What do you all think?

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19 thoughts on “Bad Decisions

  1. if it’s really HIS kids and the pics were on HIS phone, then it seems like an over-reaction. Prolly not the smartest thing, but not ‘porn’.

    • but would the IT department know that at first pass? Could you imagine the poor tech who is upgrading the phone and comes across naked kids in the post-Penn State era? It may be that the photos are wholly innocent, but I kind of think it’s good that this got lookedd into.

      I think this coach showed a lack of good judgement for using a work phone – property of his employer – in that way.

  2. Legally, I think the circumstances could go either way–what exactly were they doing, did he encourage them or just grab the camera, etc. Most likely innocent.

    Morally, I think toddler age is the upward limit for taking innocent naked pictures of your kids, but I don’t think it’s porn.

      • I think that taking naked pictures of kids [not their being naked, just the recording of it] becomes unacceptable at the same time it becomes unacceptable for them to be naked in public. Because a photo is more or less public.

        • I don’t think photos are necessarily public, not always. People take all sorts of pictures with their digital cameras that they keep private. If it were my naked kids dancing around, they might ask me to GET the camera! But that would be a video or picture for ME to enjoy. I guess I generally don’t take pictures of my 6 year old naked anymore, but I think I did when she was 3 or 4. Even when she was an infant, I tended to use camera angles so as not to show her bits, but I did show her butt pretty often. I’ve taken a few bath photos of the two girls together, but they don’t show anything unless you think little girls breasts count as something.

          • That they THINK they keep private. That’s sort of the point here. There’s no way for digital media to be totally private to 100% certainty (and very little way for analog media to be, either–I mean you could keep the pictures in a safe, but attaching that much importance to them would be sort of weird).

            In retrospect, I can totally see (for example) taking the video to show your spouse later if he/she wasn’t there at the time, for example. But not to keep long-term.

            I think the type of photos that you’ve instinctively taken or not taken, and the age at which you stopped taking pictures of the older one, are sort of what I’m getting at.

            • Pretty good discussion, and I value your comments, Sister Q, but I have a 7yo who’s sensory disorder means she won’t wear anything but a pull-up at home, usually. (she has that issue too.) I don’t usually take photos of her, but her sister, who’s 2 years older does – she takes photos of EVERYTHING. And if she didn’t, I’d barely have any shots of Zoe. So she’s not naked, but close-you get the gist. Yea, I think it’s a tough call in this day & age of “no privacy”, but I also think there’s a lot of overreaction.

  3. Mine are eight and six. The eight year old is becoming more guarded, but neither one of them are above stripping of their clothes and racing through the house. Or running around the backyard. And they would both dance starkers. And I would probably take a video of them.

    People need to relax. A lot.

        • DH’s mobile is provided by his places of work – has been like that for, I think, the last five years. He doesn’t have his own personal phone. But he’s discreet with it – no photos, no videos, no using it for web browsing.

          • That’s probably a good reminder for lots of folks, but my guess is that most people consider their work phone to be their personal phone and don’t think twice about using all its features in the way the coach did.

  4. I imagine the IT person was pretty torn. If it wasn’t the coach’s kids, that would be really bad, & this person had to make that call. But as Rachel said, it’s the post-Penn State era, and stuff is really crazy. If it is nothing but poor judgement, I feel for the coach, because he has been arrested, his mug shot is on TV, two former colleges he worked at are checking their records to see if anything happened while he was there. Quite the way to ruin a life.

  5. If the three of them are all dancing together it seems very unlikely to me that it was anything but a silly family moment. Videoing it on your work phone is a bad idea, and I suppose these things have to be looked into, but it would be nice if the looking-into did not have to involve people losing their jobs and being arrested until the determination is made that in fact it actually was something to be concerned about.

    If somebody actually wanted to make child p0rn would they really do it with their work phone?

    • You would think not, but I’m not sure I’d put it past a person. One of DH’s former IT jobs was checking people’s browsing history if something hit the wall. There were several cases of people watching p0rn, at work, being told they’d been caught & never do it again, and would do it again. One was a VP who got caught three times before he was fired.

      There was a university professor from here a few years ago who was caught with child p0rn on his work computer. I’ve never forgotten this because his last name was Pervo. You can’t make that stuff up!

  6. I find the whole “nudity = porn” thing deeply disturbing. We do have social rules that say we have to keep the naughty bits covered in public, but 1) home isn’t public, and 2) those rules don’t mean much to kids anyway. Nudity isn’t sexual in and of itself, and naked kids dancing around at bathtime can’t possibly approach the level of porniness found in prime time shows like “Toddlers and Tiaras”.

    • Yeah, and also this.

      On a related note, everyone should be watching “Our America” which is a weekly documentary series about a certain sub-culture—nuns, meth addicts, transsexuals, people who’ve been unable to find work in the recession, inmates, etc. There was one recently on child beauty pageants. I’m not any less disturbed by them, but it brought up a lot of points I hadn’t thought of.

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