Students arrested last month, will not face criminal charges for making death threats against another student on Facebook. Instead, they will participate in a diversionary program which reportedly sets curfews and limits their use of the Internet – and “if they follow the rules, they won’t be charged.”
The diversionary program is part of Florida’s cyber-bullying law. We will watch this case, which should prove a good test of whether diversionary programs like this can help provide legal consequences more appropriate for teens than heavy fines, jail-time, and criminal records.
Many states, including New Jersey and Texas, are considering legislation for sexting which include lesser penalties for teens along with diversionary programs. Some diversionary programs being considered also require parents to attend education programs.