HANFORD — A group of parents met in Hanford Thursday evening to discuss what one mother called a “huge epidemic that’s getting out of control” — social media.
Mother Leeandra Dupree-Coleman founded the group, Not My Kid, to raise awareness about what she calls the dangers of social media after finding a sexually explicit hand-written note in her 15-year-old-son’s possession recently.
“We just want to save a few kids from making bad decisions,” Dupree-Coleman said during the meeting, held at the Comfort Inn in Hanford.
Dupree-Coleman led about a dozen parents in a round-table discussion about the perceived ills of the Internet age, including topics like sexting, pornography, cyber bullying, the Momo challenge and video games.
During the group’s first of a planned series of ongoing meetings, a screenshot of the “Most Dangerous Teen Apps of 2019” was discussed, which included social media apps Facebook Messenger and Nextdoor, dating apps like Tinder, Grindr and Badoo, as well as music video streaming app TikTok.
“Snapchat is the devil,” Kings County District Attorney Investigator Perla Trejo said.
Trejo cited the fact that Snapchat, a photo-sharing and messaging app, prides itself on its privacy features and also is not known for cooperating with law enforcement during investigations. She said that the District Attorney’s office deals with issues concerning “revenge porn” stemming from the app. “Revenge porn” is the act of distributing sexual explicit photos of a person without their consent.
Dupree-Coleman said that the Not My Kid group will tentatively meet next at 6 p.m. Monday, March 11 at the Comfort Inn to further discuss the group’s message and how to work closely with law enforcement and local educators to create awareness and come up with ways to avoid falling into the dangers of cell phone addiction, peer pressure and other internet-based dangers children and teens may face.
Those interested in joining the group can contact NMKmovement@gmail.com or call or text 559-333-1145.