DOVER, NJ (Morris County) – Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Samantha DeNegri and Sergeant Patrick LaGuerre Thursday visited the freshmen and sophomore students of Dover High School, and led a presentation on cyberbullying, bias issues and making smart choices about social media.
Presenters stressed the importance of exercising good judgement when it comes to how you behave in school or what you post online. SAP DeNegri noted how social media and technology documents everything, and that even photos and messages you believe are deleted or only temporary can be accessed after being deleted, especially through subpoenas during investigations. Having your name associated with a bias incident, and the documentation that goes with it, can unfortunately follow you into life beyond high school, SAP DeNegri said.
They reviewed the potential legal ramifications of bias, using social media and messaging apps to harass people, and sexting. Cyber harassment and sharing explicit images can carry strict penalties in New Jersey, including being included on a Megan’s Law list.
They explained your school can choose to take disciplinary action even if an incident isn’t considered criminal.
Sgt. LaGuerre recalled scholarships, college acceptances and job offers have been revoked due to recipients having posted material shared on social media.
The MCPO routinely holds bias and bullying presentations at area schools to communicate directly with students. This winter, Sgt. LaGuerre and SAP DeNegri visited Morris Plains Borough Middle School, Byram Lakes Intermediate School, Copeland Middle School, Green Hills School, and Randolph Middle School.
“Our youth are growing up in a world where everything is documented and recorded, and regrettable behavior can unfortunately result in legal trouble or a reputation that will follow them beyond graduation. It’s our goal at the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office’s goal to educate students about making smart choices and the potential negative consequences to engaging in cyberbullying and bias behavior,” Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll said.