Cyber-Bullying Focus Of NJ School Safety Conference [AUDIO]
As thousands of New Jersey kids get ready to head back to school next month, law enforcement officials are also busy preparing.
Prosecutors from seven different counties addressed cyber-bullying during a school safety conference in Washington Township.
It seems like every child has a cell phone or Ipod these days, and during and after school, they're doing serious damage with that technology.
"The advancement of technology is really hard on law enforcement, because there are so many means of media that can store photos, capture videos and record images" said Sgt. Steven LaPorta, with the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office High Tech Crimes Unit.
"Kids are sitting at home, flexing their cyber-muscles and their bullying children" he said.
Its a statewide problem.
"It is being seen in South Jersey, it is happening in north Jersey and all 21 counties, they see cyber-bullying"
He says the key to combating cyber-bullying is education, for everyone, police to parents.
"The best thing that we can do is be proactive. Make them aware of the dangers, the ramifications, the legal charges they could face should they do this" said LaPorta.
"The message we're trying to get out is that you have to think before you post. If you wouldn't say it to somebody's face, you probably shouldn't be saying it online" said Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton.
He says law enforcement will be focusing on cyber-bullying, gang activity, sexual predators and online privacy at schools across the state this year.
"We don't know what challenges will face us as we start the new school year, but what we do know is that we can be ready to work together as a community - law enforcement, educators, parents, working together to address any issues which may arise during the course of the school year" said Dalton.