Feb 25, 2010 12:38 AM by Matt Stafford

Nipping a problem in the bud

Issues with picture messaging and social networking in schools keep popping up.

"We have had some incidents with some inappropriate pictures," says Drenda Manning, assistant principal at Florence Middle School.

Instead of ignoring it, the community of Florence came together to talk it out.

"It could be a dangerous thing and we want to let the kids know and the public know the dangers of it," says Officer Michaele Sage with the Florence Police Department. They along the Fremont County Sheriff's Office helped put the discussion on.

They say kids need to be educated about this as much as anything else in the classroom, and parents feel they could benefit as well.

"It wasn't something we had to worry about back then," says Debbie Tonack, who has children in both junior high and high school right now. "I'm not necessarily educated on how to put those parental controls in place."

While she's learning, she's also brain storming to keep her kids safe.

"(I) Maybe need to find some different things to occupy their time," Tonack suggests.

Educators are trying to be proactive as well when it comes to cell phones in school.

"We ask that the students have the cell phones in their locker," Manning explains, but says the students do have access to their phones at lunch, as well as many other hours of the day when they aren't at school. For them, that's the reason they want our kids to know that things they post online can follow them for the rest of their lives.

"We want to try and protect our kids as much as we can both here at school an out in the community," Manning says.



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