Senator Patricia Bates' Facebook Online Safety Seminar Generates "Likes" from North County Residents

Attendees Learn Best Practices to Report Online Threats, Keep Kids Safe
Thursday, March 26, 2015

CARLSBAD – Almost 200 residents of Carlsbad and surrounding North County communities descended upon the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa tonight to learn directly from Facebook staff, local educators, and law enforcement on how to stay safe online, making Senator Patricia Bates’ (R-Laguna Niguel) Facebook Online Safety Seminar a resounding success.

“Given that young people are often more skilled on using social media than their parents, tonight’s seminar helped give moms and dads the tools they need to keep their families safe – both online and off,” said Bates. “I’m thrilled that so many North County residents attended and asked important questions. I believe our communities are made safer when we know what’s available to prevent online threats from becoming real-life tragedies.”

Tonight’s seminar was timely given a January 5 incident where a threat was posted on social media that referenced Carlsbad High School. The school went into lockdown and students were dismissed early as the investigation ensued. Within 48 hours, the student who posted the threatening message was arrested.

Social media is a growing method of communication, and tonight’s goal was to inform and empower parents to be active participants to keep their kids safe online. After Carlsbad City Council Member Lorraine Wood and Senator Bates delivered brief welcoming remarks, Juan Salazar, the Associate Manager of State Policy at Facebook, delivered a presentation of the tools available to members of the Facebook community to report inappropriate content, harassment, and other forms of cyber bullying.

Following Salazar’s presentation, a panel discussion with a question-and-answer session was held with the audience on the topic “Are Parents Responsible for What Their Children Post Online?” Panelists included Salazar; Dr. Suzette Lovely, Superintendent of the Carlsbad Unified School District; Michele Linley, Deputy District Attorney and Juvenile Division Chief for San Diego County; and Patrick Fanene, Carlsbad Police School Resource Officer.

opening remarks at the Facebook Online Safety Seminar
Senator Patricia Bates delivers opening remarks at the Facebook Online Safety Seminar in Carlsbad.

Bates moderates a panel on 'Are Parents Responsible for What Their Children Post Online'
Senator Patricia Bates moderates a panel on “Are Parents Responsible for What Their Children Post Online” with panelists (seated L to R) Juan Salazar, Associate Manager of State Policy at Facebook; Michele Linley, Deputy District Attorney and Juvenile Division Chief for San Diego County; Suzette Lovely, Superintendent of the Carlsbad Unified School District; and Patrick Fanene, Carlsbad Police School Resource Officer.