EDITORIAL: Empowerment comes through participation


When subject matter experts shared how to be prepared as a parent to keep children safe online, one statistic stood out as a very unnerving fact – “65 percent of youth say they’d change their online behavior if their parents were paying more attention.”

Not only does it reinforce what we already know, the fact that we don’t really know what our kids are doing online, but it proves they know it is not always the right thing.

But how do we know what our kids are doing online? How do we know how to keep them safe? This is not our parents’ parenting job any longer. It is a new day in parent protection.

The only way we are going to be prepared to keep them safe from predators, bullies and themselves is to be involved and know the dangers, risks and solutions.

The community came together last week to talk about these issues at an event organized by the school district, the police department, chamber of commerce and The Independent. But most parents didn’t come for the free information and discussion.

It is not on anyone’s bucket list of ways to spend a Thursday evening. It is not something we think our own children are doing or suffering because of. In fact, we’re sure that most parents thought they were just too busy.

The truth is, we are never too busy for our children in a crisis, and this could easily become a crisis with dangerous consequences. This is the kind of crisis where, as a parent, we say things like, “If I’d only” or “I wish I would have”.

These empowerment events are critical to the many demands parents and the community have right now to ensure the safety and well-being of our children. The education for parents is priceless and not something any of us just know.

We can demand the school do more or the police do more. But we can’t demand any more of our educators and law enforcement than we are willing to invest when it comes to identifying dangers and preventing tragedy.

These events are scheduled to help keep all of our children safer and make sure Liberty Hill remains that wonderful place for families to grow. Don’t miss your opportunity to learn and be part of the discussion next time. Your community is counting on you just as much as you are counting on it.

Visit www.wilcocac.org, the website for Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center, for some helpful information.