Parents Beware of Cyber Sexing of Children
Parents should be concerned this summer with their
children’s online activities this summer while school
is out; especially when they are alone or with friends
surfing the web on Social Media sites.
I’m concerned as a teacher when I hear boys and girls
in elementary school talking about their Facebook
friends and the discussions they have online while chatting,
sharing information, pictures and videos.
Their chats range from events at school to community
happenings, family situations and interacting with their
online and offline friends. The disturbing part is hearing
10,11, 12, 13 year old boys and girls not even old enough
to drive talk about adult content, using profanity and
The “hookups,” “booty calls,” Sexting and “ sexual
quickies” that are being asked and sexual content being
shared is being exposed to youth. Sexting is growing
online and many parents are not aware of their child
or children’s online activities. Laws are being passed that
make Sexting a minor federal offence and those that are
convicted must register as a Sexual Predator.
When I ask students what do their parents think, some
students say their parents don’t know or tell them to cuss
back or just play along for fun. Kids will be kids and
will follow their parent’s advice, it is a unfortunate
situation that places too many youth in danger. Youth
will post their address, cell phone number and other
information online thinking they are save
“cause no one will find them.” Really?????????
Google and other online Search Engines are
powerful tools. Google Earth is being used
by adults seeking sex with minors. Finding youth
by their addresses, zip codes and other small pieces
of information. Facebook is contemplating lowering
the age of their members, to what end?
In my opinion as a professional educator and parent,
parents are treating online Social Networking sites
like Facebook as 21st century televisions. Too
many parents have no clue or do not worry about
what their child is exposed to until it is too late.
The child leaves to meet some stranger they met
online, or the child is seduced (literally) by
someone pretending to be their age and going
through struggles that only a teenager
would “understand”. Thus trust is built and a
plan developed to meet in person.
The Internet is a reflection of our society; there are good
parts and dangerous parts. Vint Cerf, considered one
of the “Fathers of the Internet” stated, “The internet
is a reflection of our society and that mirror is
going to be reflecting what we see. If we do not
like what we see in that mirror the problem is
not to fix the mirror, we have to fix society.”
The problem as I see it does society want to fix
the Internet or know how?
Parents are missing the warning signs and allowing
their child or children to be exposed to content that
has long term psychological and emotional
affects. Kids are being kidnapped, raped, forced to work
as prostitutes, both male and female. Their interaction on
Facebook and other social media sites has grown dangerous in some cases.
The tragic events of an Austin, Texas girl is a prime
example. “Texas 12-year-old lured into sex trade
through Facebook invite,” this happens more and
more, parents do not enforce or reinforce safety on
the Internet for their minor children. Prevention
and education are the keys. The Austin, Texas girl,
“they brought her to an undisclosed location
and basically forced her into prostitution.”
From the young girls Aunts
explanation of how these events happen,
“I had no clue this was even going on in
Central Texas. I thought it was a third world
Online content is not specific to any race, financial
status or gender by the weekly reports of law
enforcement and cyber porn, cyber bullying and
cyber stalking. Austin, Texas Police Department
says child predator crimes are on the rise.
Recently a cyber-sting operation netted 17 men
traveling to have sex with minors in Florida,
some traveled from Georgia and Alabama. The
troubling statistics are that these men are
professionals such as teachers, lawyers, doctors,
and even one a clergy member. They find youth in
chat rooms and arrange for “friendly” meetings
or out right sexual encounters.
When or if FB decides to lower the age of it members
the question is are parents going to be more or less
cautious? Schools are out for the summer break and
parents will not be monitoring their children’s
online content, even if the child goes to the local
library their content is not monitored.
There is the Constitutional Rights of freedoms,
but this may come at a high cost in a young person’s
life and personal safety. Parents are not educated
enough to understand the invasiveness of the
Internet and growth in access using wireless devices.
Parents, as an educator, consultant, social media presenter
and importantly parent take the time to talk to your child
or children about their online content and activities.
If they become argumentative, act suspicious, or deny
activities that is an indication there is a problem.
Check the computers browser history and cell phones
because they can access the Internet through wireless
devices. Contact the cell phone provider and get a copy of
data access by text, web, pictures, and video. If you are
the parent and paying the bill you have a right do find
this out the type of information your minor child or teen
is accessing and take appropriate actions. Don’t wait
until law enforcement is involved. Don’t make the
excuse of ignorance like in Austin, Texas that assumed
nothing dangerous goes on in Internet chat rooms.
The United States is not a Third World country. Parents
must not have a Third World mentality while their
children and families lives may be in danger.
Be Educated, Be Empowered, Be Engaged ….
Net Safe Kids: