Please read this and pass it on to any kids you know
who may spend time online. Or adults for that matter!
Something to think about...

Shannon could hear the footsteps behind her
as she walked toward home. The thought of
being followed made her heart beat faster.
You're being silly," she told herself, "no
one is following you." To be safe she began
to walk faster, but the footsteps kept up
with her pace. She was afraid to look back
and she was glad she was almost home. Shannon
said a quick prayer, "God please get me get home
safely." She saw the porch light burning and
ran the rest of the way to her house.
Once inside she leaned against the door for a
moment, relieved to be in the safety of her
home. She glanced out the window to see if
anyone was there. The sidewalk was empty.
After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided
to grab a snack and get on line. There she
could talk to strangers without being afraid.
After all, none knew who she really was and
couldn't hurt her.
She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213.
Checking her Buddy List she saw GoTo123 was on.
She sent him an instant message:

ByAngel213: Hi! I'm glad you are on! I thought
someone was following me home today. It was
really weird!
GoTo123: LOL. You watch too much TV. Why would
someone be following you? Don't you live in a
safe neighbourhood?

ByAngel213: Of course I do. LOL I guess it was
my imagination cause I didn't see anybody when I
looked out.

GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on line.
You haven't done that have you?

ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid
you know.

GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after
school today?

ByAngel213: Yes and we won!!

GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213: We played the Hornets LOL..
Their uniforms are so gross! They look
like bees. LOL

To123: What is your team called?

ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We
have tiger paws on our uniforms. They
are really kewl.

GoTo123: Do you pitch or what?
ByAngel213: No, I play second base.
I got to go. My homework has to be
done before my parents get home.
I don't want them mad at me. Bye
GoTo123: Catch you later.. Bye

GoTo123 decided it was time to teach
Angel a lesson. One she would never
forget. He went to the member menu
and began to search for her profile.
When it came up, he highlighted it and
printed it out. He took out a pen and
began to write down what he knew about
Angel so far.

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985 age:13
State where she lived: North Carolina
Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and
going to the mall.

Besides this information, he knew she lived
in Canton. She had just told him. He knew she
stayed by herself until 6:30 every afternoon
until her parents came home from work. He knew
she played softball on Thursday afternoons on
the school team and the team was named the Canton
Cats. Her favourite number 7 was printed on her
jersey. He knew she was in the seventh grade at
the Canton Junior High School. She had told him
all this in the conversations they had on line.
He had enough information to find her now.
"She'll be so surprised," he thought, "she doesn't
even know what she has done."
Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident
on the way home from the ball park that day. She
didn't want them to make a scene and stop her from
walking home from the softball games. Parents were
always overreacting and hers were the worst. It
made her wish she was not an only child. Maybe if
she had brothers and sisters her parents wouldn't
be so overprotective.
By Thursday Shannon had forgotten about the foot-
steps following her. Her game was in full swing
when suddenly she felt someone staring at her. It
was then that the memory came back. She glanced up
from her second base position to see a man watching
her closely. He was leaning against the fence behind
first base and he smiled when she looked at him. He
didn't look scary and she quickly dismissed the fear
she had felt.
After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked
to the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she
walked past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He
noticed her name on back of the shirt. He knew he had
found her. Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind
her. He didn't want to frighten her and have to
explain what he was doing to anyone. It was only a few
blocks to Shannon's home and once he saw where she
lived, he quickly returned to the park to get his car.
Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat
until the time came to go to Shannon's house. He
drove to a fast food restaurant and sat there until
to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she
heard voices in the living room. "Shannon, come here,"
her father called. He sounded upset and she couldn't
imagine why. She went into the room to see the man
from the ballpark sitting on the sofa. "Sit down," her
father began, "this man is a policeman and he has just
told us a most interesting story about you."
Shannon moved cautiously to a chair across from the man.
How could he tell her parents anything? She had never
seen him before today! "Do you know who I am, Shannon?"
The man asked.
"No," Shannon answered. "I am your on line friend, GoTo123."
Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo is a kid my
age! He's 14 and he lives in Michigan!"
The man smiled. "I know I told you all that but it wasn't
true. You see, Shannon, there are people on line who pretend
to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to
find kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents
who do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to
find you to teach you how dangerous it is to give out too
much information to people on line. You told me enough
about yourself to make it easy for me to find you. Your
name, the school you went to, the name of your ball team
and the position you played. The number and name on your
jersey just made finding you a breeze."
Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"
He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe
to think I was so far away, didn't it?" She nodded.
I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she
wasn't as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while
she was home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone
when they are alone, yet they do it all the time on line.
The wrong people trick you into giving out information a
little here and there online. Before you know it, you
have told them enough for them to find you without even
realising you have done it. I hope you've learned a
lesson from this and won't do it again."
I won't," Shannon promised solemnly. "Will you tell
others about this so they will be safe too?" "It's a
promise!" That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom all
knelt down together and prayed. They thanked God for
protecting Shannon from what could have been a tragic

This page has been visited times.

My Snazzy List of Links

Community Service Bulletin FRIENDSHIP AND FELLOWSHIPS: Go here to access bbs and club Chat
Samson the hot tub BEAR: Samson has a wonderful home at the Orange County Zoo