Cyber-Stalkers in Uniform (Will Grigg)
Wednesday October 23rd, 2013
As young people enter the anonymous and immersive world of social media, too many of them indulge in abusive behavior commonly called “cyber-bullying.” Others fall prey to manipulation by adult predators posing as adolescents. Some of those so-called cyber-stalkers may be in uniform.
Meridian, Idaho School Resource Officer David Gomez has publicly admitted to making fake profiles on various social media accounts and “friending” Middle School students. In a TV interview, Officer Gomez described telling students that he was the 16-year-old they friended that that they’re “lucky it’s Officer Gomez and not a cyber-predator.”
If any other adult admitted to this conduct, he could face prosecution. Whatever his intentions, Gomez’s actions arguably violate Title 18, Section 3001 of the Idaho State Code, which designates “false personation” as a crime punishable by two years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
We shouldn’t forget the case of Vallivue High School Resource Officer Reuben Delgadillo, a sexual predator who attended specialized training about the vulnerabilities of youth. He then used that knowledge, and his position, to target – and eventually to molest -- a troubled boy named Brennan Nicholson.
Predators in uniform are easily the most dangerous kind – both on-line, and elsewhere.