Helpful Tips for Parents from our DA

In light of the recent publicity, we thought it may be helpful for parents to have the step by step info as provided directly by the Office of the DA. Take a look below and take the steps necessary to guide your kids.

 

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Jefferson and Gilpin Counties
Peter A. Weir, District Attorney

SOCIAL MEDIA SAFETY – ADVICE FOR PARENTS

1. Parents should monitor their children’s social networking sites, including Facebook. To see if your child is a member of one or more Facebook groups, either check “Groups” on their device, or use their password and sign-on information to check their Facebook page. Select “Groups” to see the child’s activity in various groups.

2. We recommend parents supervise or monitor their child’s use of technology devices, regardless of the age of the child. The best place for parents to start is to enable privacy settings. These settings require the parents’ authorization when your child wants to add apps and programs:

FOR IPOD, IPAD, APPLE PRODUCTS
a. Go to the main “Settings” menu on the device
b. Go to “General”
c. Go to “Restrictions”:
i. Choose “Enable Restrictions. You will need to create a 4-digit password here. Choose one your child cannot easily guess
ii. Select the apps or programs you want to privacy protect
iii. When your child wants to add an app, they must have your authorization, enabling you to learn more about what the app does. Follow this procedure up to “Restrictions” where you will be able to “Disable Restrictions” so that an app can be added.

If you still have problems working through parental controls, your service provider (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) have help desk staff that will help you.

FOR ANDROID PRODUCTS
The steps to enabling parental controls with an Android device is different from that of an Apple product (Iphone, Ipad, etc.). Below are some helpful links:

https://www.internetsafetyproject.org/wiki/parental-controls
https://www.internetsafetyproject.org/wiki/mobile-devices
There are also many helpful parental control apps available:
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-parental-control-apps,review-2258.html

3. We recommend a curfew for technology where ALL technology devices are turned in to the parents at a set time each night. The electronics can be charged in the parents’ room, rather than accessible to your child throughout the night.

4. Facebook offers a wealth of valuable family safety information on their website at www.facebook.com/safety

 

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
Jefferson and Gilpin Counties
Peter A. Weir, District Attorney

For Immediate Release
Contact: Pam Russell
Public Information
303-271-6905
RE: DA Warns Parents of Secret Facebook Group
_______________________________________________________________________

(Golden, CO – May 6, 2016) First Judicial District Attorney Pete Weir is warning parents that there are “secret” groups in social media sites that may pose a risk to children. The DA’s Child Sex Offender Internet Investigations (CHEEZO) unit discovered a secret group which is hidden in the Facebook social networking site which allows clandestine youth activities to go undetected by parents.
DA investigators discovered the secret group called “Fly Society 420.” This is a large group and its primary purpose appears to be the purchase and sale of illegal drugs. Even though many members of the group do not use their real names or provide other personal information, investigators have identified that a number of members are underage youth. Being listed as a member of the group does not mean that the youth has actually bought or sold drugs, but it should raise concerns for parents that their child is part of a secret group where drugs are bought and sold.

The underage teens who have been identified attend school in districts both inside and outside the Denver metro area. DA investigators are working closely with Jefferson County R-1 School District staff and SROs to contact each identified child, and their parents, out of care and concern for the safety of the child. None of the youth who have been identified face any sort of criminal consequences.

The drugs being bought and sold in this group include, but are not limited to, marijuana, marijuana concentrate, prescription drugs, and LSD. When a buyer and a seller make contact, they move to a different platform to establish the details of the transaction. Those details are not accessible to other members of the group.

Facebook groups can be created with one of three privacy settings: public, closed, or secret. The person creating the group is considered the administrator. If the group is created with a secret privacy setting, the only way to join the secret group is by being accepted by the administrator who will verify that you are known by other members who have already been accepted into this group. The only way to access, or even detect, the group is through membership. Otherwise, the existence of the group is not visible to other Facebook users.

“Social media comes with potential dangers as well as advantages. This secret site facilitates the sale of drugs. Many of the kids using the site are not buying or selling drugs, but they are being exposed to the criminal activity.” said DA Pete Weir, “It takes work to keep our children safe. More than ever before, parents must take an active role in their monitoring their children’s online activities.”

After the DA’s office discovered the existence of the secret group “Fly Society 420,” the West Metro Drug Task Force launched an investigation into the drug transactions involving the group’s administrators to see if they could develop probable cause to make arrests. One adult, believed to be an administrator of the secret group, Christopher Bouma, DOB: 9-29-92, has been arrested and charged with three counts of Distribution of a Controlled Substance (DF3).

This group was shut down after the District Attorney’s Office contacted the Facebook Public Policy department and notified them of the illegal drug activity being transacted the secret group. Facebook encourages any inappropriate content be reported to them using their online reporting tools. They also provide family safety information on this web site https://www.facebook.com/safety

More information and tips for parents are available on our website www.districtattorney1.com

Safety and security of our students is a priority in our schools. If we all take responsibility and action when necessary our students will be safer. We appreciate the District Attorney sharing this information so we have the opportunity to reach out to our students. Thank you for your support of our school values and for encouraging your student to make good decisions.