The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crime Unit will be at Benjamin Franklin Middle School at 7:30 p.m. for “Staying Safe in Cyberspace – Internet Safety for Parents,” an in-depth presentation on the dangers lingering for children on the internet.
Detectives from the unit, whose cases often involve predators using the internet to target children, will be on hand to share information with parents on mitigating the dangers of the wed, with an emphasis on proactive steps that educated parents can take.
“The explosion of the internet has proven to be most influential with the youngest of generations, namely our children,” Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said. “Protecting them on the World Wide Web, a truly unregulated atmosphere, is a tremendous task that needs to begin at home, where children are indeed most vulnerable.”
According to a news release, the presentation will have multimedia elements that demonstrate in detail “the seedier side of the internet,” alerting parents to the dangers of online communications for students of all ages.
Earlier in the day, ninth and tenth grade students at Ridgewood High School will hear a presentation from John Halligan, whose 14-year-old son, Ryan took his own life in 2003 after being bullied for years.
“Ryan’s Story,” is an emotional 75-minute presentation that Halligan has given to more than 800 schools in the last decade. In his telling of his son’s death, modern technology amplified the effects of bullying felt by previous generations.
“I realized that technology was being utilized as weapons far more effective and reaching than the simple ones we had as a kid,” Halligan writes. “I believe my son would have survived these incidents of bullying and humiliation if they took place before computers and the internet.”
Students will enter small discussion groups after the presentation, coordinated by peer counselors and school staff. Interested parents can attend the same presentation Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Westwood Regional Middle School.