Online Safety Expert to Speak in PG Tonight
Prince George, B.C. – Concerned about what your kids are up to online? If yes, then you may want to attend a presentation tonight at Duchess Park Secondary School.
Darren Laur, better known to his audiences as ‘The White Hatter’, is a retired staff Sgt with the Victoria police turned online safety expert and will be sharing his expertise.
He says the focus will be on making sure parents engage with their kids. Case in point, last fall’s clown scare in Prince George involving online threats which led to charges against a local teenager.
“Yeah, you know when that started to spread I knew right away it was going to be fake but the problem is you have to treat those threats as real,” says Laur. “Students should have been held accountable for that. Now depending upon the severity of what it is would dictate the response from law enforcement. But there should be consequences to any type of inappropriate behaviour online.”
And what can parents do to help avoid this from happening?
“It’s all about parental engagement. Parent abdication on this issue is huge right now. Too many parents are buying kids these digital devices not understanding what they can do and then the kids are going to school and getting in trouble at school with them.
“And then the parents look at the principals and the teacher and say ‘hey, this is your problem now, you deal with it.’ But we’re the ones buying these devices and these laptops and whatever else connects to the internet.”
Laur says another focus of his talk will be what he calls “the hyper sexualization” or “pornification” of our youth online.
“What’s happening right now is unbelievable. If we as parents don’t start talking to our kids about what the difference between healthy human sexuality and pornography, we’re leaving it to the porn industry to do that for us and that’s a recipe for disaster.”
Despite the bad press last year’s clown phenomenon generated though, he notes “most kids are doing super duper cool stuff online. They really are. Only a small percentage of them are doing things that are less than desirable and that seems to be the population that gets the most media.”
Admission to tonight’s presentation is by donation. You can register by clicking here.
Doors open at 6:30, the presentation starts at 7 p.m. It’s been organized by the Prince George District Parent Advisory Council in cooperation with the Prince George School District.