COLUMBUS, Ga. — The Muscogee County School Districts asks parents to closely monitor their children’s online activities after several reports of inappropriate photos of students surfaced online.
Muscogee County parents tell News 3 they are concerned over what their kids may be seeing on social media.
Jamell Pratt says her daughter attends high school in Muscogee County and she saw one of the inappropriate photos in question.
“She saw a photo of a girl in question and it’s supposedly a game,” Prat explains. “You take a picture of someone and then they post the picture of them caught in the act of doing something inappropriate.”
Valerie Fuller, the Director of Communications for the Muscogee County School District, says they want to alert parents about the dangers of social media.
“What was reported to us was inappropriate pictures and postings involving nudity, possibly sexual acts,” says Fuller.
Monica Cobis works at the Pastoral Institute. The center recently surveyed hundreds of students in the Columbus area to find out their internet habits.
She says, “90 percent had unrestricted access to YouTube and most had more than one social media account that their parents were unaware of.”
The Muscogee County School District urges parents to monitor their kids social media accounts. Another thing Cobis says parents should do is rethink smart phones.
“The child is not developed yet emotionally and mentally to deal with what is going on in the internet,” says Cobis.
The pastoral institute believes kids under the age of 16 shouldn’t have a smart phone because of the dangers that come a long with it.
Because of the influx of parents asking for tech assistance monitoring their kids. The Pastoral Institute created a class to help them. It’s called “Tech Talk for Parents” and it’s taught over a three day period for one hour each day.
Book: The boogeyman exists by Jesse Weinberger
Online workshops: www.NetSmartz.com has workshops for parents
Counter apps: Mobicip – parental controls including category blocking, time limits, internet activities, block phrases and you tube filtering – 3 different levels (fee)
For example – for middle schoolers you can block online shopping, gambling, chat and porn sites
Common Sense media – www.commonsensemedia.org
Family online safety institute – www.fosi.org
Wired kids – www.wiredkids.org
All Pro Dad – www.allprodad.org