In the Age of the Internet, What Goes Up Never Comes Down, Warns Youth Lawyer Alex Schwartz

Mar 22, 2024

Attorney Advises Parents How to Mitigate Legal Damage When Teens’ Sexting, Vandalism, and Illegal Substance Use are Shared Online

SOUTHPORT, Conn.—March 7, 2024—Remember the Las Vegas ad campaign, “What Happens Here, Stays Here”—implying that the rest of the world wouldn’t know if visitors misbehaved?

Youth lawyer Alexander (Alex) Schwartz, Southport, Conn. is warning tweens, teens and their parents not to have the same mindset—especially when cell phone cameras and videos are involved.

“The law of gravity doesn’t apply to images that make their way onto the Internet,” he says. “Once something goes up, it never comes down.”

Still, he notes, kids habitually document their misdeeds and “uninhibited behavior”—from spray painting a school, to sexting, to underage drinking—without considering the consequences. Moreover, unlike earlier eras when parents quietly dealt with these matters at home, the pendulum has swung in favor of schools and police taking more aggressive actions—like suspension, expulsion, and arrests.

As spring approaches—ushering in all sorts of new “temptations”—Alex advises parents to:

  • Warn their children to think twice before posting/sharing anything—asking themselves, “Would I want my future college admissions officer, employer or even my children to see this?” No-one wants to spend the rest of their life wondering if the mailman or grocery store bagger has seen a decades-old nude photo. It has happened time and time again.
  • Understand that public and private schools will put their obligations to enforce rules, protect other students and the schools’ reputations first. They will act swiftly, too.
  • Support attorneys’ efforts to successfully represent their children if they get into trouble. Parents’ demeanor and actions at home have a significant impact in juvenile court. “If a prosecutor asks me what’s happening at home, I need to know illness, unemployment, substance misuse or separation could be contributing,” he says.
    Likewise, do not minimize a situation that the school or the police consider serious. “The best possible results come if the parents’ perception of an event is consistent with the authorities’ view and they take appropriate action at home,” he adds.
  • Consider getting therapy for their children to help them address any underlying issues. School administrators and juvenile prosecutors often look favorably on this.
  • Act early when they notice troubling signs in their children. Once they turn 18, if they’re expelled, they’re “on their own” scholastically.

Alex is pleased to provide more information and can be reached at 203-255-9829 or alex@ahschwartz.com.

About Alex Schwartz, Attorney at Law

Attorney Alexander (Alex) Schwartz has over 40 years’ experience as a trial lawyer in state and federal courts throughout Connecticut and Greater New York. He has helped countless minors and their families get through difficult situations with compassion and patience. In addition to youth law, Alex’s practice areas include personal injury, divorce, state and federal criminal defense, and commercial litigation in state and federal courts. For more information, see https://ahschwartz.com.