The following was submitted by the Westford Education Foundation. To submit your own content, e-mail [email protected]
As part of its observance of National Screen-Free Week, the Westford Education Foundation is hosting a special talk for parents about the potential risks their children face through the use of technology. The presentation, The Internet, Social Media, And Phone Apps: Predators’ Newest Playground, is being held Wednesday, May 4, at 7:00 p.m. Teens face dangers every day as they surf the Internet and connect with “friends” through social media and phone apps. Computers, cellphones, iPads, gaming systems, and social media sites like Facebook all play a role in placing kids at risk. What sites are safe? What is “sexting” and what are the current trends and laws pertaining to it? This presentation will teach parents how to better understand the technology available to teens today, current Massachusetts’ laws, trends, and what parents can do to protect their kids.
The presentation is being made by Westford Police Detectives Geoffrey Pavao and Nirisa Nicoletti and Westford Academy’s Sean O’Leary, and will take place at the Blanchard Middle School, 14 West Street, Westford. The event is free and open to the public, and is especially recommended for parents, guardians, and educators of children in middle school and high school.
Det. Pavao is currently the School Resource Officer at Westford Academy. He has extensive training through the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) and the Massachusetts Juvenile Police Officer Association (MJPOA). His areas of expertise include Internet crime investigation, protecting children online, child sexual abuse and investigation. He has been a police officer since 2005 and joined the Westford Police Department in 2010.
Det. Nirisa Nicoletti is a certified School Resource Officer for the town of Westford. Her focus is Family Services, such as domestic violence, sexual assaults, and juvenile and elder investigations. Det. Nicoletti is the Juvenile court prosecutor for the department. She has been a police officer for the past 11 years, and has been with the Westford Police Department since 2011.
Sean O’Leary is the K-12 physical education, health, and wellness curriculum coordinator for Westford public schools. Over the past 10 years, Mr. O’Leary has worked in various capacities for the school system: physical education teacher, health teacher, coach, class advisor, and currently as an administrator. He offers valuable insight into the perception gap that exists between parents and kids in terms of online dangers.
This presentation is part of the Westford Education Foundation’s observance of National Screen-Free Week, which is May 2 – 8, 2016. While it’s clear that technology is here to stay, it’s important to be safe. And to make time to be together, without any devices. For more information about WEF, go to http://wefweb.org/. For more information about National Screen-Free Week, go to http://www.screenfree.org/.