Macomb parents see firsthand dangers on internet

By: T.J. Parker

At the Macomb High School Gymnasium on April Fools Day, the issue of internet safety was no laughing matter.

On Tuesday, the Macomb Online Safety Team hosted their second annual Internet Safety Day at Macomb High School 1/4s Gymnasium, focusing on the issues of cyberbullying. Keynote speakers included Mayor Mick Wisslead, who gave a proclamation, claiming April 1 as Internet Safety Day in Macomb, Internet Specialist Sarah Migas of the High Tech Crimes Bureau of the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and Tina Meier, who 1/4s daughter committed suicide because of being cyberbullied.

Migas talked to the crowd about the hidden dangers of cyberbullying, what cyberbullying is, and what to look out for to keep your children and your self safe. I talked to Migas, who told me that cyberbullying is a growing problem and she is hoping that events like this will spark concern about the growing problem.

Nationally known mother, Tina Meier, also spoke at the event on Tuesday. She talked about the events that lead to the death of her daughter, Meagan, in 2006. Meagan was a victim of cyberbullying through the popular website, MySpace. It later turned out that the boy who Meier 1/4s daughter was being cyberbullied by, was actually Meier 1/4s neighbor pretending to be the boy to see if Meagan was talking bad about their daughter.

After not being able to prosecute the neighbors in the state of Missouri, where Meier 1/4s is from, she immediately took action and tried pushing a law to prosecute cyberbullies.

The state of Missouri is currently working on the proposed law to take legal action against cyberbullies.

Meier continues her travels to spread the message and help educate parents and youth about the dangers of the internet, so hopefully the same thing that happened to her daughter never happens again.