Sexual Predators and the Internet

I’ve been battling a bug this week, but am glad that I attended a recent morning talk by Dan Conley, the Boston District Attorney.

He mentioned what we all know: the Internet is a cool place but can be dangerous for children and teens. But, he cited by name the many Web sites to which minors go to interact (sometimes knowingly) with older men (yes, the aggressors are nearly always men). He also spoke about how clever some predators are in pretending to be teen boys or girls in order to be-friend a potential victim and gradually set up an in-person meeting.

How to balance freedom and safety for our children? I think this is an on-going issue for our society. Our children should feel free to explore the immense inter-connectivity the Web offers. But, they deserve to be protected, too.

A thoughtful educator whom I know talks about how students do need to grow personally, but that it should only be in the context of wise freedom. Knowing what is or is not “wisdom” is the key for parents.

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