BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The Berkeley County School District is working to teach parents about the hidden dangers of social media and apps accessible to children they may not know exists.

District leaders will hold the first of several informational meetings Thursday night designed to make parents aware of- and how to respond to situations that can occur through social media and your child’s smartphone.

“We really felt it was important to do this because a lot of parents purchase their children these devices and the children download these apps,” said Cheretha Kinlaw-Hickman, the district’s security and emergency management office.

While most of the apps are straightforward and provide a way for people to connect with friends and family, or simply enjoy funny and interesting videos, there are concerns about hidden dangers associated with the apps.

That is why the district will hold several meetings at all high schools in Berkeley County over the next month and a half so that parents can learn and understand how some of these apps may pose a risk to their child’s wellbeing. Parents can attend any meeting regardless of attendance zone.

“Parents will leave about some of the different apps our children are using, what they are designed for, and what can be dangerous about these apps,” Kinlaw-Hickman said.

They will discuss a range of topics from cyberbullying, sexting, South Carolina statutes, and more.

Officials said some students have faced charges – not for receiving illegal material, but for sending it on to other students after they received the material initially.

Parents will also be given instructions on how to monitor their kids without being overly intrusive. It is designed to help parents and their children understand their digital footprint may last for a long time.

“We’ll talk to them about their digital footprint, and the digital footprint basically talks about anything that they post. Like anyone else posts, whether it be photos, comments, all of that stuff follows you throughout their high school career and even when they apply for college or jobs.”

The first meeting will take place Thursday night at Cross High School from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

A full list of meetings and locations can be found below:

Thursday, January 12, 2023
Cross High
6-7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Timberland High
6-7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Berkeley High
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Cane Bay High
6-7 p.m.

Thursday, February 2, 2023
Goose Creek High
6-7 p.m.

Thursday, February 9, 2023
Hanahan High
6-7 p.m.

Thursday, February 16, 2023
Philip Simmons High
6-7 p.m..

Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Stratford High
6-7 p.m.