OPS and KSP to Host Social Media Information Evening for Families | New
Every day, half a million predators lurk online and wait to prey on unsuspecting children, said Corey King, a Kentucky State Police Soldier.
King, the public information manager for KSP Post 16, said that is why he enjoys working with school systems in the area to provide as much information as possible to families about the dangers that exist on the internet.
Specifically, King will discuss the dangers and ways parents can be wary of the social media sites their children frequent at an information night Tuesday at Owensboro High School.
The event will start at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Masks are mandatory and families who attend will also take home a free pizza, courtesy of the PAHO Family Resource Center.
There are three stages King encourages parents to focus on when thinking about social media outreach: education, communication, and monitoring. He said that in today’s world, the internet can be a “predator’s playground”.
“It’s funny how, as parents, we close our doors and keep our kids safe, but do very little with Wi-Fi or internet access,” he said. “If you knew there were half a million of these predators trying to lure children into their web, I think we would be watching more closely to make sure all of our doors are locked, so to speak.”
Sydney McFadden, OPS digital learning coach, said the school district is hosting a social media awareness night like this with KSP because the third week of October is National Digital Citizenship Week.
In today’s world, there are many digital tools available to students to facilitate their learning.
Technology is all around them, she said, and the school system wants to help educate parents about available apps and potential dangers.
King said many parents don’t think about the dangers of social media and online gaming because they may not hear about law enforcement investigations.
“We are working them locally,” he said, referring to a recent local case in which an adult male targeted two male children through the game Minecraft. “It’s important to have this conversation so parents can see what we’re currently investigating and what dangers to look for. “
McFadden said teaching social media and online safety should be a team effort. Educators, law enforcement, parents and community members all need to be committed to having conversations and keeping everyone safe.
“Social media and the Internet are something that cannot be avoided, and we should all be equipped to take on this responsibility,” she said.