Madison County educators address online exploitation at annual summit | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

EDWARDSVILLE — Grooming, online exploitation and the continuing opioid epidemic took center stage at the annual “School Safety Summit” sponsored by the Madison County Regional Office of Education.

About 70 educators, law enforcement, mental health personnel and others gathered Jan. 29 in the county board room at the Madison County Administration Building to hear from several speakers.

This is the fourth year for the summit.

“It’s our attempt to try to make sure law enforcement and the education community are in constant communication and trying to be proactive,” said Regional Superintendent of Schools Robert Werden.

Different dangers

He noted that the discussion this year is “shifting focus.”

In the past years much of the focus has been on active shooter incidents and similar topics.

This year most of the discussion was about grooming, both in person by persons in authority, and online, along with “sextortion” and increasing concerns about artificial intelligence, or “AI.”

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