Kids Safety 101

Online School Will Attract More Online Predators, FBI Says

Parents and students across the nation face a tough decision this school year: Online learning, or in-person learning? The coronavirus is shifting everyone’s plans. There are so many factors to consider when deciding which option is best for your child.

Households in which all guardians go into work are left to figure out child daycare if they choose virtual learning. Parents who work from home might find it difficult to stay on task with young kids around. But still, they don’t want to risk their child contracting COVID-19 in a classroom.

Casey Allen, superintendent of Ballard County Schools in Kentucky, told the Washington Post, “We will be building the plane while we fly it, on virtual learning.”

Similarly, Bob Farrace spoke for the nonprofit National Association of Secondary School Principals. He said, “Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time in playing those political games. There hasn’t been nearly enough conversation about what learning is really going to look like.”

Luckily, new information comes out every day that can at least help us navigate these strange times.

For example, an extremely important piece of news has recently come up ever since schools have been reopening throughout the country. It is most pertinent for parents who opt for virtual learning.

FBI discovers more predators targeting children in virtual classrooms

KFOX14, in El Paso, Texas reports that federal investigators are hunting sex offenders online, and finding more and more predators are targeting children these days.

“These individuals are so desperate to get their hands on a child, that they are willing to do anything,” said El Paso FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Minerva Shelton.

Shelton told the outlet that he has seen these predators work in groups, too. Apparently, these groups pose as minors in order to try to chat with children in group chats and video calls. Shelton says that is when the predators often entice the child to perform lewd and sexual acts.

“The minor does not know that in this room there are numerous individuals watching. Once that child is recorded it’s out there, and it’s never going to stop being traded from one perpetrator to another,” Shelton said.

The authorities in Texas have undercover operations in place to expose predators before they victimize children. Also, they intend to investigate tips from parents, teachers, students, and others as soon as they receive them. They also promise to arrest predators who commit crimes.

Fortunately, if you communicate with your child and keep an eye on their online activity, you can prevent predators from victimizing your children. To learn more about online sexual predators, grooming, and navigating the virtual world, check out Everything You Need to Know About Online Grooming.

Katy Holloway