With the majority of college students' vast accessibility to the internet, many of them have undoubtedly come across pornographic content. Deemed as one of the largest genres of entertainment, pornographic websites, videos, books etc. have accrued an uncanny amount of purchasers and viewers, ultimately bringing in more revenue than the NBA, MLB and NFL combined. Generally speaking, the act of looking at porn is legal and not prohibited by school authorities. This is due to the protections provided by the First Amendment. Exceptions come into play when child pornography or other illegal forms of pornography are involved. Also, whether a student is attending a public or private institution dictates how they are allowed to operate on campus. These guidelines are commonly referenced in a college or university's code of conduct.
Pornography Restrictions on College and University Campuses
However, higher education institutions have certain restrictions in regard to the viewing of pornographic content on campus. In particular, Pennsylvania state law requires publicly-funded libraries located at colleges and universities to adopt software programs that are designed to block access to visual depictions of obscenity, child pornography or material that would be considered harmful to minors. This means that students are not allowed to view porn on public computers provided by their school.
Although watching porn on a personal computer is generally allowed on a school campus, there are other porn-related offenses that are outright forbidden for college students.
One form of porn that is illegal and is commonly perpetuated in college settings is revenge porn. Revenge porn is explicit content (images, videos etc.) posted or distributed of another person without their consent and with the intent of causing him or her emotional distress. Law enforcement nationwide has cracked down on this offense and enforced pretty harsh consequences for committing this crime. The offense generally carries penalties of hefty fines and even time spent in prison. Oftentimes, people accused of violating this law are simultaneously pinned with other charges. For example, sending nude photos of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend could result in harassment, stalking or trespassing charges depending on the nature of a crime.
How Can Pornography Affect My Standing as a Student of the College?
Institutions are individualized and provide distinguished guidelines regarding pornography. Since these rules differ, students should check their school's prospective student handbook or code of conduct to see the penalties associated with pornography-related offenses. However, when it comes to offenses like revenge porn, schools and law enforcement have been found to work together to identify a student perpetrator to bring criminal charges against him or her.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Student Defense Attorney
If you are a student who has been accused of committing a pornography-related offense, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney. A legal professional will help you weigh your options and protect your rights. Your educational future is at stake, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.