This week, you examined the issues regarding child safety in the digital age.
As you discuss the following points, keep in mind that a “child” can be a young child or a teenager in high school.
Are there better methods that we could employ to educate children about crime and the potential to be victimized? Is this an appropriate topic for school-aged children, and can we trust the schools to handle this task well?
Consider a case where a teenager is pressured or bullied over social media to the point where he or she commits suicide. In an instance such as this, should the harassers face charges? Kids have said mean things to each other throughout the years….where do we draw the lines between free speech, typical adolescent behavior, and actual harm?
Beyond the moral duty of the parent to protect the child, what legal responsibility should parents bear, if any? For instance, if a child suffers harm due to Internet interaction or social media, should the parent bear any legal blame?
Last, it is a common police tactic to pose as an underage child in online chat rooms to attract and prosecute offenders seeking sexual contact with underage victims. Is this an appropriate use of the police? Certainly, all will be in favor of removing online predators before they can do actual harm, but is it fair to prosecute someone who merely “thinks” he is committing an offense? Since the officer posing as a child is, in fact, a grown adult, is there really a crime here?