William Adams Middle School students received a harsh look into reality and the internet from two law enforcement agents.
Special Agent W. Heath Hardwick with Homeland Security Investigations and Alice Police Sgt. Enrique Saenz. The officers educated the students on current trends in online crimes against children and ways to combat the emerging threat that students face on a daily basis.
Harwick focused on how adults should not be talking to teenagers about adult situations, and he stressed how important it is not to send inappropriate images of themselves.
Both federal and state statutes were discussed to help give students the tools to protect themselves and other classmates, but their own family as well.
He gave kids a real life scenario about online harassment and the damage it can do by sharing Amanda Todd's story. Todd a beautiful young woman who shined online until she was tricked by an adult pretending to be a teenager. The predator was able to torment her and others using provocative images. Todd never asked for help and committed suicide.
Students were also informed with techniques to identify online predators and multiple ways to find help in reporting the crime to law enforcement, parents, teachers, or any trusted adult.
Saenz ended the presentation by explaining to students that this is a problem in their community and has dealt with students in their campuses over sexting, harassment and online issues.