Allen Whitten, FJUHSD Director of Student Services, hosted “Safety Tips Every Parent Should Know” presented by the Fullerton, La Habra, and Buena Park Police departments on October 18, 2022.
The presentaion addressed incidents FJUHSD Student Resource Officers (SROs) encounter at all school sites. The parent information session highlighted cyber safety issues of bullying and sexting along with drug information concerning vaping and ingesting nicotine, marijuana, and other drugs most commonly found on all FJUHSD campuses.
The one-hour presentation was condensed into a 36-minute video now available on the district website. https://www.fjuhsd.org/domain/1567
Fullerton Police Sergeant Bridges introduced the cyber security information by showing a 2015 YouTube video by prankster Coby Persin about how easy a pedophile can trick teenage girls to meet in person despite parent safety warnings.
Sergeant Bridges transitioned to identifying cyberbullying as person(s) who participate in any harassing activity using social media and when the action includes threats to students or any other school personnel, uses threatening language, or posts pictures of violence or items that can cause harm, police enforcement can be involved to locate the culprit.
To identify student cyberbullies, SRO’s utilize law enforcement resources to locate, search, and seize phones, computers and other electronic devices that the threats are sent on even if originating from outside locations.
Sergeant Bridges’ overarching message to parents and their children was “the internet was never intended to be temporary, it is forever” and everything posted on social media has the potential to create a lasting footprint outside of their children’s control no matter what they believe. He recommended that parents monitor their children’s school class attendance and talk to them about all their social media accounts.
Fullerton Union High School SRO Eric Carrillo stated that sexting is the most common offence the officers find at each school site. Officer Carrillo pointed out that sexually explicit photos, texts, and emails set over any social media including video games can constitute sexting and if either subject who is taking or receiving the photo is 17 years or younger, there is a potential illegal activity occurring.
These offences range from misdemeanors to felonies and include child pornography, revenge porn, stalking, and sometimes result in having students identified as registered sexual predators. Officer Carrillo and Sergeant Bridges showed example scenarios, implying they reflected real situations the officers encountered in FJUHSD schools.
Overall, underage sexting is an offence if any part of the action is not occurring between consenting adults (over the age of 18 in California), if it involves a minor at any time of the process, it leads to a person saving explicit pictures, videos, texts of or about a minor, and if any of the actions are done to annoy, harass, or threaten a person at any time (adult or minor).
Officer Carrillo stated the best way to stay out of trouble is for everyone to not take or share nude pictures or videos of themselves or others, do not ask or pressure anyone to share explicit photos or videos, do not save nude photos or videos, and report any unsolicited or unwanted pictures or videos to school administrators or a parent as soon as the student receives it.
Sunny Hills High School SRO Valencia presented an overview of the most commonly occurring drugs found on district campuses. He showed slides of various vaping devices that mimic flash drives and some that are concealed in candy wrappers with names like “Cake,” but are actually battery-operated devices that deliver nicotine or THC/marijuana in vapor form. Chemicals mask the smell which give off sweet or fruity fragrances.
It is illegal for both adults or students to smoke or vape nicotine on a school site. Officer Valencia warned about an increasing number of people who vape developing “popcorn lung,” or Bronchiolitis obliterans, often caused by the chemical Diacetyl used to enhance flavored nicotine and when inhaled, causes lung scarring. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/what-does-vaping-do-to-your-lungs
In addition to forms of nicotine and marijuana, Officer Valencia listed Xanax (stress relief), Oxycodone (pain relief), and Adderall (staying awake and focused) as the most commonly intercepted drugs found on school sites. He warned about fake prescription pills that may contain fentanyl and showed the small amount needed to kill a person who ingests or inhales it on purpose or accidentally.
All schools and SROs carry Narcan (Naloxone) nasal spray in case of opioid or fentanyl overdose. The officers admitted that FJUHSD emergency calls concerning unconscious students have turned out to be nonlife threatening ingestion of marijuana edibles that look like snacks.
Mr. Whitten thanked the officers and ended the recording promising additional parent information nights this spring.