With three area Middle Tennessee juveniles recently arrested for involvement with a sexting ring and a Sumner County school put on alert with a possible student Facebook threat today, STARS CEO Rodger Dinwiddie said it is an important reminder for parents to talk with their teens about inappropriate and illegal use of technology.
“One of the first ways in which a teen deals with improper pictures and text messages is to say no and do not forward this material. This could happen anywhere anytime and it does. Sexting and cyberbullying is something our agency works young people throughout Middle Tennessee via our STARS specialists. It is also important for parents to guide their children’s behavior,” Dinwiddie said.
Dinwiddie said there are some basic and important tips for students to remember in being safe online and to prevent participating in inappropriate and illegal situations.
Tips For Teen Online Safety
1. Say no and do not participate in sharing or passing along of inappropriate pictures or material.
2. Do not share your passwords with friends.
3. You aren’t anonymous when using social media and the Internet because it is all trackable. Treat others online respectfully as you should do in person.
4. Embarrassing pictures and rude, mean remarks can live forever on the Internet. Never forget it.
In his interview with WKRN reporter Erin Holt, Dinwiddie said words, rumors, and gossip causes enormous pain. “Our STARS specialists work throughout Middle Tennessee schools to help youth learn to stand up and say no.”
In the sexting case, photos were posted online via an email account. The juveniles were charged with sexual exploitation of a minor which is a felony. In Sumner County, STARS specialists next week are working with students on “Pause Before You Post” covering guidelines on posting and potential consequences and questions to ask before you post.
Below is the WRKN story and please note, the video portion of the story expires May 5, 2013.