Enid Police Department Sgt. Nick John spoke with Chisholm Middle School students Friday about responsible use of social media.
About 290 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders were a read a state law about obscenity, threats or harassment by telephone or other electronic devices.
After Nov. 1, the law will make it unlawful for anyone to use a telecommunication or other electronic communication device to:
• Make any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent.
• Make a telecommunication or other electronic communication including text, sound or images with intent to terrify, intimidate or harass, or threaten to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or property of that person.
• Make a telecommunication or other electronic communication, whether or not conversation ensues, with intent to put the party called in fear of physical harm or death.
• Make a telecommunication or other electronic communication, including text, sound or images whether or not conversation ensues, without disclosing the identity of the person making the call or communication and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at the called number.
• Knowingly permit any telecommunication or other electronic communication under the control of the person to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
• In conspiracy or concerted action with others, makes repeated calls or electronic communications or simultaneous calls or electronic communications solely to harass any person at the called number(s).
A first offense conviction is a misdemeanor. Any second or subsequent offense is a felony.
“I want you guys to be smart,” John told the students.
Pulling his cellphone from his pocket, the sergeant held it in the air and told the students that police could seize their cellphones if a crime is suspected. While a search warrant would be required for the phone’s contents, he warned students it would only take a request to a judge to get one. He also warned students about what they are putting online because once it is online it is there forever.
“It’s never gone,” he said. “If you send a picture out, it’s out there and you never get it back. That picture is never gone.”
Speaking of recent events, John warned the students about making threats via social media. He said there are cases every day that he and other detectives investigate.
“If you guys make threats to somebody and someone finds out about it, you are going to see one of us,” he said.
His final advice for students was to consider before they posted.
“Think about what you are going to send,” the sergeant told the students.
John said detectives and officers are available to speak to schools and other organizations about responsible social media use, and other topics.
“We’ve worked with Chisholm Public Schools on several occasions,” John said. “These assemblies are just a few of the things we do to assist schools and other organizations.”
To schedule and assembly or presentation, contact John by calling Enid Police Department at (580) 242-7000.