Teens, Cyberspace and the Law (Guest: Judge Tom Jacobs)

There’s little doubt that cellphones and the internet have created convenient and lightning-quick ways to communicate in a complicated world. Many lives have been saved because these tools were available.

But it’s also true that irresponsible, even unlawful, use of cellphone communication has cost people their dignity, their reputation, their livlihood, and even their lives.

Although the inappropriate use of cellphones and the internet is not just a problem among young people, evidence points to the fact that these tools in the hands of our children can be concern. Parents should monitor their use and take action, when needed.

But what sort of action? Overreaction can damage relationships, completely shut down communication and drive the problem even deeper. So the question remains: What are the potential problems (ranging from excessive calling and texting to sexting and cyberbullying), and what can parents and educators do to address them effectively?

Our guest today, Judge Tom Jacobs, has some thoughts on the matter, thoughts, suggestions and interventions compiled during the 23 years he spent as a juvenile judge in Arizona. As they say, Judge Tom has “been there.”

From his heartfelt concern for young people, Judge Tom  founded and moderates AsktheJudge.info, a teen-law website for and about teenagers and the laws that affect them. And, of course, it’s a valuable site for parents and educators who want to stay current with issues that affect the safety and welfare of our young people.

Judge Tom has written several books for lawyers and judges, as well as for teens and parents, including “What Are My Rights?” and Teen Cyberbullying Investigated. (28:20)


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