In our current day and age, social media has become a natural way of life for anyone. As a parent, it’s normal for a child to have a phone of their own for communicating purposes. But, with a widespread amount of phones and social media accounts, comes an open portal for predators. One parent liaison, Katrina Barnes, who works at Veterans Memorial High School and Kaffie Middle School, says she wants parents to be more aware of the posts their own child may be posting.
“Our kids, that’s all they do. They’re on their phone,” says Barnes. “Even as adults we carry our phones everywhere we go. Everything we do is on our phone. It’s funny, even though they’re telephones, we hardly use them to communicate on anymore.”
With some research, Barnes found a well-known speaker on the social media safety subject. A special agent with Homeland Security, W. Heath Hardwick, who has spoken to students and parents across the Coastal Bend about how to be aware of potential dangers on social media.
Barnes says she listened in on one of his meetings and was shocked to hear some of the cases that he has dealt with. “He actually went into detail about a lot of the apps and some of the dangers that were within them and he went over some of the cases that he’s actually had. But he brought in all these other different apps that the kids are using today.”
Whether it be apps or video games, Barnes says she learned that a lot of video games and apps that kids have can have features that link them to predators. But, parents need to see everything that their child is posting, no matter where or what it is. “Because kids want to post everything, if they’re wearing their sweatshirts, when they’re posting it that way if they’re post this then the predator knows exactly what school they go to,” says Barnes.
The point of a parent liaison is to increase parent involvement, and Barnes hopes that parents come out to the meeting on Tuesday evening to learn more on how they can guard and protect what their children are doing on social media.
6 p.m. at Veterans Memorial H.S.
For more information on the meeting or how to get another social media safety meeting set up, you can call the school at 361-878-7900
To learn more on how you can protect your child online, you can find that here.