Special Agent to give presentation on dangers of technology

Parents and guardians in the Merrill area will have the opportunity to learn about some of the things they can do to help their children avoid dangerous situations related to technology at an upcoming presentation.

Eric Szatkowski, a special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, will speak to this issue during, “The Dark Side of Digital Technology: The Internet, Cell Phones and Social Media,” a presentation that will take place at Merrill High School Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

“We are pleased to welcome Agent Szatkowski to our district to meet with parents and discuss these very important issues,” said Bruce Anderson, Interim Superintendent of the Merrill Area Public Schools (MAPS). “This presentation will not only educate parents and guardians, but provide them with the knowledge necessary to protect their children from harmful content.”

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will cover social networking, cyber bullying and online predators. Given the nature of some of the demonstrations, the presentation is strictly for adults only. Onsite daycare will be provided for a minimal fee.

In addition, Szatkowski will give separate presentations at Merrill High School and Prairie River Middle School to encourage children to protect themselves online. The in-school demonstrations will be age-appropriate and delivered to both the middle school and high school students.

“Due to the availability of social media and other online content, students live very different lives today than they did even just a decade ago,” said Anderson. “As a school district, we feel that it is important that parents and guardians know what to look for when it comes to technology and potentially dangerous activities on the part of children.”

Szatkowski has served as a special agent with the Department of Justice for nearly 20 years and is assigned to the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. For more information about these presentations, contact the MAPS Curriculum Department at 715-536-4581, ext. 10004.

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