Sgt. Thomas Rich, a certified police officer in the State of New Jersey and Internet safety expert, will present "Cyber-Solutions”, with a focus on the social media activities our children are engaging in and the problems they can cause.
“For the parents presentation, I want to give them what I call an uncut and unedited version of the one I give teenagers,” Rich said in a phone interview with Patch. “I want to talk about all the stuff our kids are using in terms of technology and I want to teach the parents usable moments so that when they go home they can go over the settings with their kids and help keep them safe.”
The presentation will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the middle school auditorium.
Rich is the creator and CEO of Always Connected, has been praised for his high-energy presentations, including entertaining videos and engaging the audience as he educates them about current trends and problems faced by children in using technology. He provides solutions for schools, parents and children to help address cyber-bullying.
According to the release, Rich will examine real life examples of cyber-bullying, the dangers of on-line chatting and take an in depth look at Facebook profiles to explain the pitfalls and how to protect yourself through privacy settings.
Rich will also talk about online behaviors and sites such as texting, sexting, Facebook, tumblr, twitter, instagram, ask.fm, omegle, chatroulette, minecraft and formspring.me and their dangers. He will also discuss how these forms of communication can be used positively and in moderation by our youth and what parents can do to help, according to the release.
“I want to help parents understand what their kids are dealing with in terms of technology,” Rich said in an interview with the Patch. “I want to help them connect with the technology in a responsible way because we are in a society that regularly causes us to be disconnected with each other. Kids talk to strangers all the time through various sites, including online gaming, so I want to put this out there and encourage responsible online and technological behavior by our kids.”
Rich further stated that he also wants to “empower” kids and help them understand the power they have with technology, especially since it is always changing.
“I want them to protect themselves,” Rich said. “So I will cover a lot of topics at the presentation and cover all the top applications your kids are using tonight as well.”
Julianna Kusz, Millburn’s Director of Special Services, stated in the release that she “encourages” everyone, including staff, parents and children to attend tonight’s bullying seminar.
“This is an important topic for all of us,” Kusz said in the release. “I encourage all staff, parents, community members, and even students to attend. Sgt. Rich has spoken to our Millburn Middle School and High School students over the years, so come hear for yourself what your children have learned from Detective Rich.”