Over the last 10-15 years, technology has advanced rapidly. Our children have become the experts with cell phones, tablets, and all the social media applications that are established on a daily basis. Because our children have access to these devices due to essential need to communicate with parents, there are also some hazards associated with the devices in the hands of less than responsible people. The fad of sending nude photos via cell phones back and forth between students affects students across America and in our community of Lake Oswego. While text messaging would seem the most common way to send these photos or sexually explicit conversations, our students are aware that text messaging may not be the most secure way of sending this material for fear of being caught by a parent or another adult. Snapchat is one of the world’s leading apps marketed to youth for communicating with others. However, Snapchat promotes deception and a false sense of “that will get deleted momentarily.”
I encourage all parents to be actively involved in their children’s lives, and be more aware and educated about their children’s cell phones. Understanding how a cell phone works other than it gives internet access and is used for communication purposes. Also, understanding what our children are doing on their cell phones is very important, as they may be putting themselves in a compromising situation of decision making that they just do not realize due to their lack of knowledge and experience of what could be considered a crime.
Finally, as the School Resource Officer for the LOSD and LOPD, I encourage all students and parents to contact me about a Digital Safety course that I present to both groups separately. Not only will the information give you information and possibly a more eye opening perspective on today’s communication devices, the course can open lines of more effective communication between parents and children. For further information about the Digital Safety course or questions or concerns about specific issues related to cell phones or other similar devices, I can be contacted by email email@example.com.