“Un-Delete-Able” in Auburn to Help Maine Young People and Parents Navigate Dangers of Technology
AUBURN---Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn will host a special conference that aims to help both students and parents around Maine to understand how online activity impacts safety, both on the screen and off of it.
“Un-Delete-Able” will be held on October 21-22 with the Friday presentations aimed for teens and Saturday’s gathering focused on adults.
The Friday event will be attended by teens and staff of Catholic and public schools and also livestreamed to schools around Maine. It will also be recorded and distributed to parishes in the diocese for later use. Saturday’s event for parents and guardians of teens will also be offered in person and recorded for later use by families and adults supporting teens. The events will feature a variety of experts ranging from the Zero Abuse Project to investigators from the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Unit.
The driving force behind “Un-Delete-Able is Catherine Ann Wilson, a former sex trafficking victim in Maine who is now a powerful advocate and the founder of Stop Trafficking US (previously Stop Trafficking ME), an organization committed to educating people with the goal of sparing children this trauma.
“We should have about 350 kids in person on Friday, sixth through twelfth grade,” said Wilson. "Children, teens, and young adults are sharing sexually explicit materials, and they are being exploited and being groomed.”
For the adults on Saturday, topics like the dangers of technology, parental controls, and which apps are used more than others by offenders will take center stage.
“We will encourage the participants to write down questions throughout the day,” said Wilson. “The cyber threat environment is changing, and we must adapt and focus on the dangers of sexting, cyber bullying, and other predatory behaviors using technology. This conference will equip educators, parents, and students with critical knowledge and useful strategies to keep our young people safe both on and off the screen.”
The New England Patriots Foundation was so moved by Wilson’s passion and the idea for the events that they awarded her a Myra Kraft Community MVP Award, an honor that was accompanied by $10,000 to help in the production of the conference and in its filming for future use.
“This conference will offer parents and educators the tools to help keep kids safe,” said Wilson. “It is free and open to the public.”
To learn more about attending the conference or Stop Trafficking US, visit the organization’s website at www.stoptraffickingus.org. It includes a variety of resources for students and parents, videos, testimonials, contact information for trafficking hotlines, and the opportunity to assist the organization. You can also call (207) 752-4226 or email [email protected].