FARGO—With classes starting in so many area schools, a sobering reminder how technology has been used to harm and what parents can do to stop it.
The West Fargo School District sent out an email to parents of middle and high school students urging them to have the “Sexting Conversation.”
Awkward?? Yes, but will it help??
Police and schools say absolutely.
Parents hope their teen-age children will use the phone to stay in touch with them.
It is a safety net, but recently, schools and police are finding kids are using the phone to exchange photos, sexual in nature, that are shared with each other often used to harm someone or embarrass them. West Fargo parent Antionette Behrns says her 13-year-old has a phone but knows the rules.
“He’s had a phone since he was nine and any bad pictures or texts, he loses his phone for a month or more,” said Antionette Behrns, West Fargo Parent.
West Fargo Schools just sent this letter, a way to be ahead of the problem.
Urging parents to use suggested online resources as a way to have that talk with their children.
“We want to protect those children and enjoy their experience at school and not have emotional scarring that can last a lifetime,” said Allen Burgad.
Initially, law enforcement hopes a school resource officer can sit down with a student to resolve this, but if photos are being sent to students across the school, for bullying, that is when law enforcement steps in and steps it up, since juveniles can be charged with a felony and labeled a sex offender.
“We just want parents are educating themselves on what apps are out there for hiding photos make sure they are talking with the kids and what phones can be used for, once snapchat is sent, it is not erased, it is always there,” said Lt. Jerry Boyer, West Fargo Police.
The best advice, talk now don’t wait for an incident to happen.
Schools often use health classes to discuss online relationships.