Thomas Jefferson Middle School Hosts Internet Safety Night

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JEFFERSON CITY - Dozens of parents and children gathered at Thomas Jefferson Middle School to learn more about Internet safety.

David Luther, in charge of school-community relations for the Jefferson City Public Schools, said the ultimate goal for the night was to make sure parents became aware of what is really happening online. 

"A lot of parents are not comfortable looking over their children's shoulders," Luther said. "[Anderson is] going to talk about some things to do just to monitor." 

Detective Anderson, a veteran of the Boone County Sheriff's Department, is an expert when it comes to dealing with any kind of cyber crimes and cyber bullying. On Wednesday, Anderson focused on Internet crimes, grooming, child pornography, social networking, cyber bullying and sexting.

Anderson suggests problems may occur because children are allowed 24 hour access to the Internet. The audience also learned that this unlimited and unmonitored access can also cause sleep deprivation in children. According to Anderson, sleep deprivation may also lead to other problems with school and schoolwork. 

Luther said Anderson has given a presentation at Thomas Jefferson Middle School before, but is here again to educate the community.

"It's about educating the children," Luther said. "We have a lot of kids here tonight, a lot of middle-schoolers, a lot of high-schoolers in there." 

Luther said even though the children probably came with Mom and Dad the kids will hopefully pick up some helpful tips too. 

"It's really just about raising awareness," Luther said. "This particular generation is very open, and very free with a lot of information, and it's always good to remind them, if you put it out there, it's out there forever." 

Luther said if there is too much information out there, he knows students are potentially subject to Internet crimes.