CLINTON (MCT) - Letters are going out to parents of students in grades 5 through 10 in Anderson County, giving tips on how to keep their children safe from online sexual predators.
Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark said the effort is a "cooperative educational campaign" involving the schools, his office and Anderson County Sheriff Paul White.
The letters to thousands of parents of students in the Anderson County, Oak Ridge and Clinton school systems began going out two weeks ago and are still being sent, he said.
They contain brochures, Clark said, that offer "a series of suggestions on how to talk to your children about cybersafety."
Information about sexting, or the exchange of explicit photos normally using smartphones, is also covered, the prosecutor said.
"We want to make parents aware of the dangers posed by online predators and provide them with some strategies to help keep their families safe," Clark said. The material also gives tips on ways parents can talk to their children about online risks and the dangers of online predators.
Updates on new strategies for catching those predators are also explained.
Clark said a detective in the Anderson County Sheriff's Department, Darrell Slater, has received training "on how to find and arrest predators who are stalking our children online." The Sheriff's Department also has obtained special computer software to help in Slater's investigations, Clark said.
"We are catching people right here in Anderson County who are making sexual contact with children online and people who are distributing pornography through computers," White said.
Sexting can be "very disruptive of the learning environment," Anderson County Schools Director Larry Foster said. "We have seen these issues not just at our high schools but also at the middle school level."