Bullying and online safety has caused concerns for many parents in our area. Thursday, those issues came to a head at a “Parents Against Predators” seminar hosted by the Panama City Beach Police Department and Panhandle Crime Stoppers at the Majestic Beach Resort.
“I’m really, really, glad that this is coming to the forefront, this is coming to the community, even with the events that have happened in the community, awareness needs to be brought to this subject,” said parent Tiffani Hiends.
Before parents and kids separated, Beach Police’s Lt. J.R. Talamantez told parents to take their children’s phone’s so they can look through them.
“If they haven’t done it already they are going to realize real quick why they should have done it a long time ago, because if they haven’t checked their child’s phone, more than likely they are going to find something they are not going to want to see,” said Lt. Talamantez.
They learned tips on how to monitor their kid’s social media using websites like Safesmartsocial.com. They also heard current trends of online predators and dangerous apps.
“I want to know what they are doing and I want to be able to lead them into how to keep them safe and if I don’t have that knowledge, I can’t share it with them,” said Hiends.
In the other room, the kids heard a presentation about cyber bullying and social media lead by News 13’s very own Jerry Tabbot, who is also president of Panhandle Crime Stoppers.
Despite sitting through some tough topics the goal was to educate and start a conversation.
“The main thing we hope for is that the parents and the children leave here and sit down and have an open dialogue about the things we talked about today,” said Lt. Talamantez.
Beach police plans to continue their Parents Against Predators program and offer more workshops.
If anyone has any questions or concerns about bullying and online safety call the Panama City Beach Police’s non-emergent number at 850-233-5000.