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A thin line between in-house and inappropriate

August 28, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
The recent allegations against MSU-Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner might give every parent something to think about: where is that fine line between an in-house secret and inappropriate behavior?

For those not following the story, Hoffner faces possession of child pornography charges after nude photos and videos of his children were found on his phone. However, his wife spoke publicly of the photos and videos, stating the photos/videos in question are of their childrens' antics and were not sexual in nature.

The case will be up for the courts (and possibly a jury if it gets that far) to decide. But think about it: what family jokes, gags, etc. do some of us have that might be misinterpreted if brought to the public's attention. How many of us have naked baby pictures, or pictures of kids toilet training or playing in the tub? In some households, nudity is not as big a deal. But there is that fine line of what's just an in-house secret, such as a little brother who likes to streak through the house or Mommy and Daddy's talk about money & politics, to what is truly inappropriate and wrongful behavior.

I can honestly say I have not taken any nude pictures of my children (except for when The Boy managed to squirm out of a diaper, and even then his privates were strategically covered). Hoffner's case shows that when it comes to technology, there really is no such thing as privacy anymore. Anything on a phone or computer (especially if your phone/computer is provided through your workplace) could potentially be seen, stolen and/or launched into cyberspace. If it is something that should be considered an in-house secret, it might be best not to have any photo or video evidence of it... Hopefully (for the sake of Hoffner's family and children) the only case against Hoffner is a case of bad judgment.


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