Katie LeClerc Greer, mother of young children, knows more than most parents about the dangers on the internet for children. Katie, who now owns and manages her own company, KL • Greer Consulting, began training for this right out of college to prepare her for what lay out there.
Katie was the Administrative Assistant for the Chief of the Criminal Bureau for the Massachusetts State Police Department. He was patient and kind with such a young woman and got her involved in internet crimes. When she moved on to work with the Prosecutor for Massachusetts, she was only 21 or 22 years old, but had had enough preparation that she continued delving into internet crimes, believing that if training about them began with a proactive approach, that kids may sustain from getting involved.
When she was ready, she spread her purpose to a couple of schools; discussing the throes of cyber-bullying and sexting. She wanted to get across the fact that those who use the internet have an online responsibility to themselves and others. This is a hard concept unless the kids realize that what goes on the internet stays on the internet! So, what may seem fun and exciting now, may not be so in the future when they are attempting to get a scholarship to college, a job, or when they have to explain their actions to their own children someday. Even when you hit delete, that file is still stored out on the World Wide Web somewhere just waiting for the next opportunity to be seen.
Greer’s proactive approach is straightforward and since she is young, she does not have as many issues as other speakers on the topic have when presenting to teens. She would much rather speak to kids in advance than have to rush into a situation where a teen has committed suicide or there was a sexting case blowup. The reactive approach will work, but if the kids are aware in advance, perhaps it could have avoided the negative situation altogether.
The one point that she wants everyone to understand, parents and children alike, is that the internet is not a horrible thing; it is not dangerous unless it is approached with negative connotations in mind. This is why she uses real-life examples of what NOT to do so that things are not taken out of context and derives more negativity as a result.
If your organization, school, church or other would like Katie LeClerc Greer to come to your community to speak (she can do up to four daily presentations and one evening presentation), there is a standard cost plus travel. Considering that this topic is hot news these days, the cost is minimal – especially if it should save your child’s life!