:: 9NEWS | Communication tool can be a risk for deaf students ::

Communication tool can be a risk for deaf students

posted by: Jeffrey Wolf, Web Producer
created: 4/6/2007
Last updated: 4/6/2007

deaf kids.jpg

JEFFERSON COUNTY – Computer games are a part of modern childhood, but for these kids, the computer is also a communication tool. That also makes them more at risk.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has a unit working full time to catch Internet predators. They also want to make sure children at the Rocky Mountain Deaf School know about the threat.

Friday, the students got a presentation from Investigator Mike Harris and a cheetah named Cheeso.

Cheeso brought stickers and Harris brought some warnings.

Deaf children often use instant messaging at an earlier age than other children, so Harris wanted to make sure they are aware that some people they chat with don’t have the best intentions.

“If you get a message that’s mean, tell a trusted adult right away,” he told them.

This was the first time Harris gave his Internet safety presentation to deaf children.

“If a stranger asks you to keep a special secret, we don’t keep secrets,” Harris told the students.

Harris says these children need the message as much, if not more, than most.

“Just since January, we’ve arrested 20 sex offenders who wanted to meet a child, believed they were meeting a child and instead met me,” said Harris.

“If there are bad pictures, showing bad sentences, bad messages, I turn off the instant messenger and … run to tell mom and dad about that,” said Austin Wolfangle, a student.

It’s a serious lesson, from a silly cheetah.

The best thing is like that Cheeso guy, he’s really funny,” said Dax Courtright, another student.

For more information about the Cheeso program and about keeping your children safe from Internet predators, you can visit www.districtattorney1.com.

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