Hilliard police are well aware of the problems related with cell phones, texting and social media and how kids can get caught up in the complex and potentially harmful cyber sphere.
Officers are tackling this issue head on - as early as the fifth grade - to send the right message.
"A lot of them know about it, but they think, ‘I'll never get caught, or it's no big deal,’ so we try to reinforce that it is a big deal," said Officer Deaton.
Hilliard Officer Mike Deaton is on a mission.
He already presented an informative, interactive program touching on the dangers of sexting to fifth grade classes across the district this past spring.
"We basically say it's when someone sends a picture of themselves without any clothes on, or their private part area, where their bathing suit would not cover," explained Deaton.
"We talk about the things you can and can't do, understanding right from wrong," he added.
And now, Deaton is tailoring the program to high school students, as well.
“We talk about that with all the kids, just saying, ‘Hey guys, you need to be thinking about what you do, because you think it's not harmful, and just because you're under the age of 18, you don't get in trouble, but you can,’" Deaton said.
It’s an important topic in light of the recent charge coming down against a 17-year-old student at Darby High school.
He now faces a misdemeanor voyeurism charge for allegedly taking a cell phone picture up the skirt of a 14-year-old female student on Aug. 22.
With statistics showing more and more kids using cell phones, Deaton says they need to know the consequences of their actions.
"A lot of girls will send pictures, because their boyfriends want it or vice versa, then they break up, and what happens -- it becomes a viral thing, they start sending pictures, and once that picture is sent, they have now broken the law," said Deaton.
Deaton says he also touches on the dangers of cyber bullying in his presentations.
He says the most important thing is to instill in kids the right information so they can make the right decisions.
Equally important, he says, are involved parents who know what their kids are doing.
Deaton says he plans on giving the sexting presentation to students at Darby High school later this month.
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