Parents of middle school pupils worried about the dangers their children might face can learn from experts on those hazards at a retreat Saturday.
Scheduled to be held at Evans Middle School at 10 a.m., the retreat features group discussion and speakers on such topics as child safety, drug awareness and Internet responsibility.
"Middle-schoolers are at an age where they're going through a lot of changes physically and emotionally," said Evans Middle Principal Michael Johnson. "Parents have a lot of concerns about public education today and are wondering about some of the things they could be doing to help their middle-school child."
Johnson sees the retreat as an opportunity for parents to get informed and swap ideas with each other on child-rearing techniques.
"We're calling it a retreat, but it's more of an informational session for parents."
Mark Staples, the chief of information security at the Medical College of Georgia, will conduct a seminar on Internet safety.
"Children are getting on a lot of unsafe sites," Johnson said. "Parents need to be educated on the Internet pitfalls out there for kids."
Columbia County sheriff's Deputy Eric Snowberger will conduct a session on drug awareness.
"When I was growing up, parents only had to worry about alcohol and marijuana," Johnson said. "Now, they're faced with all new dangers, like prescription medicine and harder drugs."
Also with the sheriff's office, Investigator Stephanie Carani will speak on Georgia law and how it applies to children, particularly sex offenses, said Evans Middle counselor Barbara Riffle.
"It's aimed at the things that teenagers are doing and the legal ramifications of some of those things," Riffle said. "Kids are getting into relationships with kids who are too young for them and they're being held accountable."
To attend the retreat, call Evans Middle at 863-2275.
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