Boardman Glenwood Junior High educating kids on cyber safety - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Boardman Glenwood Junior High educating kids on cyber safety

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BOARDMAN, Ohio -

When your children get on the internet or social media, do you know that they are posting or sending?

There are a lot of kids who don't realize the consequences that can come utilizing the latest technology.

"The kids don't realize the damage they can do when they send pictures they think it's okay you know, I'll send it and they won't do anything with it and delete it and it will just go away," said Melissa Atkinson, parent of a Boardman 8th grader

Sexting, cyber bullying, sending inappropriate pictures. Those are just a few of the dangers for families living in a digital age. 

"Pretty unnerving as a parent to know these things are going around and you cannot stop it," said Nicole Torres, a parent to 3 children.

Officials at Boardman Glenwood Junior High are hoping they can at least slow it down. The school hosted an informational program Friday on cyber safety for more than 1,200 kids. 

"All kids make inappropriate choices at times, it's a matter of how we educate and how we move forward from those choices," said Boardman Glenwood Junior High Principal Bart Smith.

Experts say education is the key. Teaching students that it's not only wrong but also illegal.

"We're seeing some incidents of sexting, students sending nude pictures," said Patrolman Phil Merlo. "What we try and instill in those students is to teach them that once that has posted its out there forever. Some people can screen shot it, it's there forever. There's apps that will screen shot it and not let the original poster know that and once you send that, it's illegal as a juvenile and to receive it on your device and have it on your device is illegal as well, pandering obscenity."

"It's extremely important because the kids truly don't understand the gravity of the consequences of their actions, they really don't understand what it means when they receive something or they send something they don't understand just how they make people feel when they sit behind a screen and say things that are so cruel things that they would never think to say in the hallway," said Torres.

Consequences that as the kids saw during the program could result in having to register as a sex offender.

Parents are urged to stay connected with their kids, know what social media sites and apps they are using.

"Facebook isn't the thing anymore. It's now these apps that we don't even hear of, there's over 20 apps I wasn't even aware of in circulation today," said Merlo.

"They are extremely savvy, they know things that we do not know as parents and if you do not as a parent try to keep yourself up to date you are going to miss out on the things that are most important in what they're doing," said Torres.

Parents are also encouraged to know the passwords on their kids phones and social media sites.


 

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