Albemarle County, Virginia (WVIR) – Parents in Albemarle County received some advice and information about social media threats in an online forum Thursday evening.
Police representatives, the attorney general, and school officials shared some ideas and tips. The county police said the Big Three – Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok – are causing some of the problems, and they say there are some actions parents can take to help.
“The most important thing is to monitor your children’s online activity. This is the biggest part,” said Albemarle County Sheriff’s Department Detective Michael Schneider. “You have to be aware of what they are doing online.”
The police said that might mean taking your child’s phone at night and making sure you know all their passwords. This includes any secondary accounts they may have, specifically on Snapchat or Instagram.
“They might not like it, but it’s for their own safety,” Schneider said.
The advice the police share with students is not to report the threat and to constantly share it on social media. Instead, they are required to notify an adult or the school, even if they must do so anonymously.
“What makes it difficult and muddy the water is that one kid sends it to another kid, then it sends it to another kid, then a group, and then we try to figure out where it came from,” Dett said. Mike Wells.
While none of the threats launched in Albemarle County recently have been deemed “credible,” police warn that there could still be consequences.
“Just because you made it, and because you didn’t want to do anything about it, you just wanted a day off from school, it doesn’t matter,” Schneider said. “It is credible. I made a threat. We will treat everything as credible and then charge an appropriate fee.”
Jesse Turner, director of student support services at ACPS, offered some advice for students in his area.
“You always shared, ‘Please if there is a problem, any problem, to share with your parents. Share it with someone at school. But please never use social media as a way to express your anger or frustration or to respond to someone because it could turn out to be a nightmare.
When asked if the ACPS would consider reinstating school resource officers, Turner said the district has not had those discussions, but that it wants its relationship with Albemarle County Police to continue.
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