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Oak Harbor parents and mentors educated on monitoring their kids' digital presence

Scott Frank is a former Internet Crimes Against Children Investigator and the founder of the Digital Empowerment Project (WNWO).

How do parents keep their kids safe in this digital age? Former Internet Crimes Against Children Investigator Scott Frank believes he has some answers.

"We have to learn about this, and we've got to empower our kids," said Frank, during his presentation.

His digital empowerment program targeted parents and 'Til Next Time mentors at Oak Harbor High School, like Jamie Tooman. She has a 19-year-old and a 9-year-old.

"We pride ourselves in keeping our daughter safe, and we're going to do everything in our power to." She added, "I feel like I'm pretty tech saavy myself, but I keep hearing and finding things that my daughter is looking online, YouTube, different websites, that I'm not really that familiar with. So I wanted to come here and get some information to see what I need to be looking at when I check the iPad or the home computer."

While his two hour program covered parents having difficult conversations with their kids, parents not knowing what they're doing, and even adults pretending everything is alright, Frank believes this is only the beginning.

"It's going to take something even beyond tonight. They're going to have to continue to do some research. I encourage them to network with other parents. I encourage them to use Google as a resource. So tonight is not just a one and done, this is kind of a constant message they have to send to their kids."

Parents and mentors left with a better understanding of how to fight back against the dangers of the internet, but they know they will have to continue to educate themselves every day.

"I think the biggest takeaway is a lot of us, while we think we're doing such a good job monitoring our kids and what they're doing on social media and on the internet, I have two kids myself, I check their phone all the time, but I have learned from hearing snippets of other people who have seen his presentation before, that there is so much out there that we don't even know about," declared TNT Mentoring Program Director, Shanna Strouse.

Scott will be spending much of the spring educating adults and students in Northwest Ohio. His next stop will be at Fremont Middle School next Tuesday. For a full list of his sessions, click here.

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