Lee County District Attorney’s Office Hosting Discussion on Sex, Cell Phones & Social Media

Threats like the one made Thursday at Opelika High  and Auburn Junior High School school need to be taken seriously.

“The parents really need to sit down with their children and explain how serious this is, even if they said they were joking. Unfortunately, today with Facebook and social media, people don’t understand the consequences of these type of situations,” said Dr. Mark Neighbors, Opelika City Schools Superintendent.

This 16-year-old will now be facing criminal charges, which can impact him the rest of his life.

That’s why the Lee County District Attorney’s Office want to arm parents with the right tools when it comes to social media and their children.

“Parents need to know what they can do to properly parent and keep their children from doing something that can have a lifetime impact on them and not in a good way,” said Brandon Hughes, Lee County District Attorney.

They are taking a three fold approach to this:

The first- What’s the damage to their reputation.

“If your picture gets out there, it doesn’t go away. The short term consequences, it gets passed around school and damages your reputation at school. But, long term, you’re trying to get a job with a company 16-18 years down the line, and your pictures show up that can have an effect,” said Hughes.

The second approach- Legal consequences.

“If you’re 17 and she’s 17 and she sends you a nude picture and you send it out, that is child pornography and you can be prosecuted for that,” said Hughes.

The third- Predators online.

“These kids have no idea who they are talking to until its too late,” said Hughes.

Parents also need to know about hidden apps.

“We have what we call decoy passwords. You go to open it and you ask your son or daughter for a password and when you open it, it looks legitimate, but that password exists so only the parents can see what they want the parents to see and it’s critical these kids know simply possessing a porn image of someone under 17 is a felony offense,” said Hughes.

They will have two one hour sessions.
The first: Thursday, Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. CST Lee County Justice Center
The second: Tuesday, March 20, 6 p.m. CST at Smiths Station High School

They will also be streaming both forums on https://www.facebook.com/events/273231999877155/

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