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Link to

     I have been referred to this site (LINK) and have looked around.  It seems like a great source of information on the subject.  I did notice that they put up a map of the USA and ommitted some states where texting while driving  is illegal (i.e. Georgia).  It may just be an older map so if you do not see your state on the list, you may want to update the information.

Georgia law change–Texting while driving

     Effective July 1, 2010, it is illegal for anyone (adults included) to text while driving.  There is no exception for when the car is stopped at a traffic signal, in traffic, etc.  The important point that might be missed is that if the driver is under age 18, it is also illegal to talk on a cellular telephone.  The media has explained the no texting law in some detail but there has been less coverage on the cellular issue for those under 18.  I am not aware of any exception for a “hands free” device and I believe the restriction applies to being involved in a cellular telephone call in any manner. 

     Law enforcement officers have explained that they think it may be tough to enforce (a fact that was also discussed by Governor Perdue at the time he signed the bill) but teens need to be aware of the ban.  There are numerous Web-based photos, videos, etc of tragedies which have occurred as a result of texting while driving but, as always, teens seem to think those things will never happen to them.

New sexting case from Atlanta

Recently, the dangers of “sexting” became apparant in an Atlanta school.  Click here to read the AJC article on the incident.  The issue has been prominent in the news for several years but most teens believe that this can never happen to them.  Most adults believe that their children would never do such a thing.  As we have repeatedly stated, the advances in technology usually cause a delayed response from lawmakers who try to react to cases where technology is misused.

If you are addressing a sexting issue in your home, remind your teens of this fact: everyone has been involved in a romantic relationship that ended badly.  If the ex is in possession of a sexting message, he/she may well use that message against you in the aftermath of the breakup.  AND, once such a message is sent, you are no longer in control of where that message ends up.

Youth Challenge Academy

Several parents have asked about Youth Challenge Academy.  I do not pretend to be an expert on the program but I have presented TY101 there several times and think the program can be very beneficial for teens with “issues.”  Understand that as a judge, I cannot sentence your child to attend Youth Challenge.  But I have seen cases where relatively minor charges are dismissed when the offender agrees to voluntarily attend Youth Challenge.  But Youth Challenge is hard–it has qualities that are similar to boot camp but there is no military commitment after the program ends.  The goal is to change attitudes and assist with education (HS diploma or GED) and some job skills  But more importantly, life skills.  For some participants, this program is the difference between prison and life outside of prison. 

I have been impressed with the program and think it fills a huge need in our community.  But like everything else, it is not the quick fix that many folks think it is.  Changing behaviors that have been in place for years is not corrected in minutes or even days.  HERE is the website for Youth Challenge at Fort Gordon.


Recently District Attorney Ashley Wright spoke to a local gathering about her concerns and observations with teens and the Internet.  Click HERE to read the article from the Chronicle.

Information about links

From time to time, we will post links to web sites that discuss issues that are related to TY101 issues.  Please do not assume that these links are endorsed or supported by TY101.  Such sites may contain facts that are incorrect or support “causes” that we do not support.  Parents are the best filters of information and whether you find such information to be reliable is a decision that YOU must make.

TY101 is not the “how to” parenting manual

Many people ask if TY101 is that “how to” manual that all parents look for when their children become teens.  Well, sadly, it is not.  The goal of TY101 is to give suggestions and insight into what is happening out there (where ever that is) and provide parents the tools necessary to have meaningful interaction with their children.  The most important point is that the 4th Amendment to the US Constitution does not apply to parents–it applies to government actors (i.e. police).  Teens do not have a right to privacy from their parents so it is perfectly acceptable and absolutely required that parents get heavily involved in the lives of their teens.  Maybe not as much as the lady in the photo but INVOLVED!