ASHLAND — Internet safety will be the topic of discussion at an event at Ashland High School next week.
The Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office has partnered with Ashland City School District to sponsor an event by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The free event is scheduled to take place from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 12 at Archer Auditorium. It is geared for parents, custodians and guardians of children, regardless of which school district they belong to.
“Most Ashland County school age children are utilizing not just computers,
but cell phones, tablets, and an array of internet connected devices,” reads a press release issued by the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office.
“While this connectivity holds great potential for education, there is also the
potential that online predators will interact with a child.”
The purpose of the program, therefore, is to educate adults as to what happens online and
how to keep children safe.
Safely navigate cyberspace
Prosecutor Chris Tunnell said a spokesperson for ICAC will give a presentation and possibly provide time for a question and answer session during the two-hour program.
He encouraged parents and guardians to be aware of what’s out there and how to safely navigate cyberspace.
“Over the years we have seen the predators come to life. If your child is online, the bad guys have access to the inside of your home. Ashland and the surrounding areas have seen cases where these people show up to meet children for reasons you don’t want to hear about,” he said. “Every one of them were introduced to the children online.”
Ohio ICAC formed in 1999 as part of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. It involves more than 330 city, county, state and federal law enforcement officers who work to apprehend and prosecute internet child predators. The task force also educates parents and children about internet safety.
“The task force encouraged all adults to attend this presentation to learn about these virtual dangers and best practices for ensuring that youth know how to use today’s technology safely and responsibly,” said Emmaleigh Welka, ICAC Outreach Coordinator.
Ashland City Schools Superintendent Steve Paramore said student safety is “at the forefront of our mission.”
“We know that there is always uncertainty in this world as we raise, nurture and educate our children,” he said. “We are so pleased to partner with ICAC and our county
prosecutor’s office to bring this informational presentation to Ashland
County. Ashland City Schools and all the schools in this county can benefit
from this transparent look at what is unfortunately out there as unforeseen
dangers in any community. We look forward to the good that comes out of
informing and engaging our stakeholders on the topic of crimes against