Regarding a story published by the Hartford Courant, about a girl who was killed by an "Internet Stalker."
She was a 13-year-old cheerleader and stellar student who, investigators say, had almost a dozen risque screen names that allowed her to meet strangers in Internet chat rooms.
Law-enforcement sources would not divulge the screen names Christina used, saying only that she had six to 12 different screen names and "one was more provocative than the other and many were sexually revealing."
"Her aunt blames herself and [had thought] that she was doing the right thing. She was aware of her activities as far as she knew," the Rev. Albert Audette said. "We are involved with so many evils around us. We have to watch our children so carefully."
The story bothers me a lot, because the guardian, the girl's aunt, did not take the time to learn enough about what her kid was doing. If you don't have enough skills to effectively monitor your kids' activities, online or offline, then you are not fit to be a parent. If a mother didn't know that her daughter went by Candy and pulled tricks for an hour after school each day, we would be appalled. But when she does the equivalent online, we all throw up our hands and say "oh it's the Internet perverts." No, it's not the Internet perverts. There are just perverts and they are everywhere. They are only on the Internet because parents don't take it upon themselves to help and monitor their kids in that arena.
Kids do things like this, because they want to be older much faster than nature allows. We wanted to be grownup and independent. Being sexual is an easy way to assert that. It's a natural, and dangerous, part of growing up. Parents who aren't aware of this or who stick their heads in the sand will learn the hard way.
I don't blame perverts for being perverts. Lock em up. But it's your duty as a parent to know that there are perverts out there. Cause they are. No matter what the cops do, there will be predators who prey on your kids.