24 of My 26 Fifth Graders Have Been Inappropriately Targeted by Strangers Online—What Parents NEED to Know

I asked my [fifth] graders if they’ve ever been approached online by a stranger or someone who seemed inappropriate. Twenty-four out of 26 of them raised their hands with stories that would cause many of us to grab our babies and head for a commune.

One [10]-year-old boy shared that a lady sent him a nude picture on FortNite. Asked if he wanted to have a private chat. The boy next to him said a teenage girl sent him a text and asked if he wanted to smoke pot with her. Or other things. One girl confessed that she has had many older boys message her on an app called Kik. Does she want to hang out IRL (In real life)? These stories went on for an hour. Then, I asked the biggest question hoping the rumors I heard about this next stat were false.

“If you feel comfortable, raise your hand if you have ever been asked to send a nude photo of yourself or had nudes sent to you.” And ever true to the FBI’s current statics, 80 [percent] of my students raised their hands.

I thought for sure these stories would be too much for [10]-year-olds, but the only two who seemed surprised by any of it were the two who don’t have phones. The only two who have not been exposed to these potential predators.

Where is all this taking place? You can read up on my article on what parents need to know about the basics of trafficking here. But it’s time we stop believing this is a [Third] [W]orld country problem — a poor people problem — and start living like we care what happens to our kids.

With child pornography increasing 10,000 [percent] since 2004 (yah that’s the real statistic) there is a good chance your family is affected. Don’t worry! There’s a new bright light emerging.

My circle of folks may be different than yours since I work in education and trafficking prevention, but you’ve likely noticed celebrities wrapped up in this topic. Some not so great, but others are putting their money and time where their mouth is.

Shontell Brewer
Shontell Brewerhttp://shontellbrewer.com
Shontell Brewer is a wife and mother to her five children, ages 20 to 12. She holds a master’s in divinity with an emphasis in urban ministry. Her most recent project is an arts-integrated prevention curriculum for minors trafficked across the nation. She speaks as a prevention specialist to communities affected by sex trafficking. Find her at ShontellBrewer.com, and on Instagram and Facebook at Shontell Brewer. Her book, Missionary Mom is due fall of 2018.

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