Retired NYC Police Detective Thomas Grimes challenged eighth-graders at Eastchester Middle School to make a choice and decide whether they would utilize the internet in a positive or negative way.
Det. Grimes spoke candidly about internet safety, predators and cyberbullying during an assembly on Oct. 10. The former NYPD detective formed NY Finest Speakers, a company that seeks to protect and educate young people and their parents about online safety and drug awareness.
He explained to the EMS students that the words privacy, respect, compassion, decency and civility should regulate all online activities.
"If you understand these words and apply them to what you do online, you understand the power to be heard worldwide," said Det. Grimes.
Det. Grimes showed the students pictures of real people who used the internet to help police capture criminals or reunite families with lost children. He also shared photos of young people, just like themselves, who made poor choices that often led to tragic consequences.
Students said the presentation reaffirmed some of the things that they already knew but it also provided them with new and useful information.
Eighth-grader Julia Naclerio said she learned about the power of a text. "How much a text can mean to people. You should be aware and not ignore what it is written."
Det. Grimes also addresses parents and sixth and seventh-graders in separate assemblies.