Police warn Florence Middle School students about social media dangers

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Florence Police Det. Brad Holmes speaks to students at Florence Middle School about possible social media fall-outs from bad decisions. (WHNT - Carter Watkins)

FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – They are one of the largest user groups of social media, and some of the least prepared to deal with the fall-out from a bad decision.

That’s why the Florence City School System and Florence Police Department are taking steps to help students make the right decisions when it comes to social media.

Snapchat, Facebook, Vine and Twitter; they are some of the latest social media sites opening up the world around us, and students at Florence Middle School are on the forefront of the technology craze.

The message to them Monday by Florence Police Department Detective Brad Holmes: it can harm you if you’re not careful.

“One picture that may be innocent enough when it was taken can be spread very very quickly,” said Holmes. “And once it is out there on the internet, once it’s posted on social media, it’s there and it’s not going away.”

Holmes has a message to parents as well: no matter how heavy-fisted we want to be with our children, technology is here to stay. So embrace it with your child.

He said teens will eventually make mistakes on social media, and it’s up to the parent to support them and help them make the right decisions.

“Your children want to learn this information and they’re growing up in a different age and a different time than we did,” explained Holmes. “So, support them in that. Understand what they are doing, get to know and build that relationship and that rapport.”

And the biggest message Holmes said kids need to learn: be cautious, as well as responsible, with the power they have been given.

Florence Police also warned students about protecting their personal information on social media and the internet.

Police request for students to always share with their parents if cyber bullying over social media is taking place.

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