Yesterday a Greek Orthodox priest was arrested for attempting to meet who he thought was a 14 year old and a 9-year old boy for sexual encounters at a location in Columbus, Ohio. He had placed an ad online seeking out children for sex, and a detective responded. All too often we hear about those who are “trusted adults” in our communities soliciting children online. It is a problem that many parents don’t want to think about. Crimes against children are atrocious and sometimes it is easier to just put it out of our minds rather than acknowledge that stranger danger is out there.
For weeks as we have had discussions on this blog about the recent rape case in Steubenville, I have repeatedly stressed that parents need to take a proactive stance in their child’s online activities and monitor social media and computer use. Allowing a child unfettered access to the internet is akin to inviting danger into your household. You do not know who is on the other side of a screen name or who may be viewing your child’s social media. As with the boys who broadcast their activities online, something of this nature becomes a parent’s worst nightmare. I have monitored many Twitter accounts over the past few weeks in the course of my research on the Steubenville case, and have seen full names and addresses innocently posted while proudly displaying new driver’s licenses, and also photos of teenagers drinking and using drugs. Surely their parents do not know that these types of images are being posted online.
It is a new age and technology offers the ability to post bad choices in a matter of keystrokes or click of a cell phone camera. All parents should be taking a proactive stance in monitoring their child’s internet presence. I am going to be posting some resources in the forum for anyone to utilize so that they can monitor their children, and for those who feel they cannot do it on their own, my company can provide social media profiles. Anyone wanting additional information or some tips can email me or leave a comment. I am happy to share my knowledge.by