Web sex pest targets kids

NMAC11-1620-1''Selston Arts and Community College
NMAC11-1620-1''Selston Arts and Community College

A SHOCKED Selston headteacher has warned parents to monitor their child’s internet activity after 126 pupils were targeted by an online sexual predator.

Di Stendall, of Selston Arts and Community College, said she was stunned by the content sent by the mystery Facebook user, who made attempts to get the youngsters’ addresses and other details.

Said Mrs Stendall: “They was sexually explicit, shocking messages which attempted to encourage the children to go on webcam and to give out their personal details.”

The alarm was raised by a parent who became suspicious about messages received by their daughter.

Now police are on the hunt for the Facebook user who used the pseudonym ‘Hi Heart’ and has since deleted his or her account details.

The school is holding workshops for parents to help them understand the dangers of the internet.

Lessons in online privacy and safety, which already form part of the school’s IT curriculum, are stepping up as well.

Said Mrs Stendall: “I think there is a certain naivety, amongst the parents and the pupils, about what the dangers are online.

“I would say to parents, monitor your child’s activity online. Just as you would check where they were going and who with if your child was going off to the park with friends, be sure you know what they are doing when they log on to Facebook.”

Nottinghamshire County Council has warned other schools about the problem.

A Nottinghamshire Police spokesman said: “We would advise parents to ensure they are aware of what their children are doing when using computers and social networking, and for young people to not accept anyone they don’t know as ‘friends’.”