Investigators in the Brooke Bennett case say posts on the social networking site MySpace may have played a part in her disappearance. While summer campers at Burlington's Boys and Girls Club log on for fun and games, Bennett's disappearance has Kaitlyn Callahan looking at the computer in a whole new way. She says, "It shocked a lot of people."
Callahan is the same age as Bennett, and like the missing girl, has used social networking sites including MySpace. But her mom just pulled the plug. Callahan explains, "She hasn't let me on since the Amber Alert."
The Boys & Girls Club actually blocks MySpace for young users. High schoolers can log on, but only with a staff member monitoring their online behavior. They also go home with advice on safe computer use.
The Club's teen director LeVar Barrino says, "We always make sure they ask their parents' permission before getting on the internet. Anytime there isn't an adult around, they shouldn't be online at any time."
The Club coaches kids on the basics:
Not to give out personal info like full names or addresses.
To report shady activity to an adult.
And to never consider someone they meet online a true friend.
A national study showed 1 in 7 kids have been solicited for sex online, and even more were exposed to inappropriate pictures. Kaitlyn Callahan says, "Actually, my mom and I have talked about that. She told me if I ever get approached or asked what my real name is, I should just automatically log off."
Clear communication like that between parents and kids could keep more from getting swept up in an online net of danger.
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:47 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:47:35 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:25 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:25:54 GMT
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.Last week the Middlebury company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against South Burlington-based Woodchuck Coffee RoastersMore >>
Woodchuck Hard Cider is taking legal action to protect its furry mascot.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:20 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:20:04 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:16 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:16:34 GMT
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.It happened on a stretch of the Upper Ammonoosuc River in the town of Dummer. Officials say Keith Whitten, 58, was paddling with his wifeMore >>
A Berlin, New Hampshire man is dead following a kayaking accident.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:14 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:14:00 GMT
Fire destroyed a barn in Clinton County, New York Sunday morning.It happened in the town of Mooers. Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30More >>
Officials say the barn on Eddy Road was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 11:30 a.m.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:11 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:11:04 GMT
College graduation season is in full swing -- and Sunday in Burlington it was a big one. A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.In all, more thanMore >>
A crowd of nearly 10,000 attended the 211th commencement ceremony at the University of Vermont.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>