68° F

Officers explain school safety and social media

Published On: Apr 23 2014 06:31:02 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 23 2014 02:11:42 PM CDT
Facebook Twitter apps on mobile phone


3-to-1: Ratio of Internet users who think that social media strengthens their relationships versus those who think it weakens them.


Sun Prairie officer Brandon Lingle said 75 percent of his time on the job is spent tapped in to social media.

"Social media is so hot.  It changes daily," Lingle explained.

Lingle was one of a handful of officers to present to parents Tuesday night at the Sun Prairie school safety conference.  He joined another school liaison officer to tell parents about social media and how that plays into kids’ security in the hallways.

"The kids know a lot more than we do, and they are constantly, it feels like every time we pick up a new habit that they're doing, they find five more tricks," Lingle said.

Lingle said there’s no way to get ahead of what students will log onto and post on next, but he is constantly asking kids about the latest social media trends and how they work.

"I go to the kids a lot.  I have a lot of kids that I work with on a routine basis, and I just ask them, what's new?" Lingle said. "You know, I just learned about Kik about three weeks ago. It's a new social media website that does a lot of stuff that concerns me but that they just love."

Lingle said if things are posting on walls, those issues would likely end up in the halls.

"Kids say mean and hateful things, and then the next day, well now you have to face the person or the group of people, and it brings it all together," Lingle said.

Lingle said social media can be a useful tool for school officers.

"Sometimes it helps us. A lot of people have posted stuff online that they don't think that we're going to see," Lingle said. "And they're really surprised when I come to them the next day, like hey, I'm seeing what you posted on Instagram. I'm a little concerned. And they're like, how did you see that? And it was like, well, you're not the only one on there."

Lingle said one of his major concerns with posts on social media is the ability of others to know where students are based on their posts or pictures.

"Children are our most precious resource, and the last thing we want is the entire Internet, or everyone who has access to the Internet being, have access to your children.  That's scary for all of us," Lingle explained. "And it's such a simple thing to do to shut the geo-tagging off.  And you can still share your pictures and you can still share your information with family members safely, but you never know where the information is going as far as the pictures and stuff."

Sun Prairie staff also covered topics like bullying, heroin use, and suicide prevention as part of the school safety conference.

  • Mark Palma

    PHOTOS: House explosion in Fitchburg

    Officials said a 57-year-old man was injured in a house explosion on Cheryl Drive in Fitchburg Thursday night.

  • PHOTOS: DOT shows off new way to build, repair bridges

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials showed off a better way to build and repair small bridges Thursday.

    The process involves building retaining walls on each side of the waterway. After filling in the area with gravel, precast tops are put in place. A normal bridge project would take 2 or 3 months, but the new process can cut that time down dramatically.

  • PHOTOS: K-9 teams from across Wis. train on UW campus

    MADISON, Wis. -- University of Wisconsin-Madison police hosted a statewide explosives training day for K-9 teams Thursday on campus.

    UWPD spokesman Marc Lovicott said Thursday's training involved multiple scenarios including large load explosive detection, dark room scenarios, plus more typical game-day situations that officers and their K-9 partner routinely encounter such as distractions, loud noises and an encounter with Bucky Badger.