Online sexual predator awareness seminar for parents

SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) - A crowd filled the stands at Texoma Christian School Tuesday night to learn how to protect their kids online.

The Grayson County District Attorney's office partnered with the U.S. Attorney's Office to put on a training session.

District Attorney Brett Smith said the program's goal is to shed light on the technology kids are using because sexual predators are using it too.

That's why they said it's crucial to monitor your child's phone.

Speakers included state and federal prosecutors, a Sherman Police investigator, FBI special agent and Texas Ranger.

They said Snapchat is the most dangerous since it's designed for photos to disappear, making it the hardest to monitor.

Another warning for parents is apps that can hide photos and videos,and are disguised as things like a calculator, even a piano game.

Several real Grayson County cases were used as examples including a man facing charges for using the law library computers at the courthouse to solicit a minor boy online.

Joshua Barrier is in court this week.

"I think it's important. If you're going to be a parent, you need to be invasive in your child's life," Smith said. "You need to know what they're doing on the computer, you need to know what they're doing on their phone and who they're communicating with."

"I think that our kids know a lot more than we do as parents and teachers right now. They're finding out new things so much quicker than we can even keep up with them," said parent Courtney Bryson.

"And I think that parents feel that, feel that they don't know all the stuff their kids know about what's on their phones and what's on their devices. And so there's a need for information for adults to be able to equip them to help to protect their kids," she said."

The District Attorney's office is holding a drug awareness seminar Tuesday, October 29, at Sanford Elementary in Van Alstyne.