The state of Florida has the right idea about curbing online predatory actions. The state introduced a new cyber safety program, that aims to keep students informed about online predators’ common tactics and how to keep safe.
Anyone can create an account on MySpace, Facebook, Tagged and other sites, but not all members come to the site for innocent fun. Conveying that to naive young people is imperative.
The state has decided to team up with the Florida Association of School Resource Officers to jump-start the program. This could prove useful because the resource officers are in daily contact with students.
The relationship they can establish with students may foster a sense of trust, which will help students accept the information more readily.
Even with the large amounts of public service announcements and parental warnings, students still need to hear advice like this from a trusted leader at school.
Awareness will undoubtedly limit the amount of crimes associated with online predators. If a student is able to identify what is appropriate and have a clear understanding of the methods that a predator might use, they are less likely to engage in a conversation with a pedophile online.
Issues like pedophilia will always plague society, but programs like this can be a positive way to bring about change and minimize damage.
Akeem Anderson for the editorial board