Archive for Wednesday, August 19, 2009

District attorney says parents need to pay more attention to what their kids are doing online

District Attorney Charles Branson warns parents to monitor their children's text messages. He says it's important for parents to know what their children are saying and to whom they are talking with.

August 19, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated August 19, 2009, 4:23 p.m.


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Text message lingo

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson says parents should know these acronyms:

• PAW — Parents are watching

• ASL — Age/Sex/Location

• LMIRL — Let’s meet in real life

• KPC — Keeping parents clueless

• ADR — Address

• POS — Parents over shoulder

More terms are available at or

Douglas County’s top prosecutor says not every text message a child receives will make parents want to LOL.

That’s the acronym for “laugh out loud” in text lingo. District Attorney Charles Branson says parents should become familiar with more text and Internet messaging acronyms in the name of safety.

“The more parents know about the communication their children are having online or by text or e-mail, the more they are aware of what’s going on in a child’s life,” said Branson, whose office sent out a list of texting terms Monday.

He said the alert came about because his office examined text messages as evidence in some cases and the prosecutors had to look up certain acronyms because they didn’t know what they meant.

Also, law enforcement officers throughout the U.S. have encountered cases where possible sexual predators use text messages or Internet chat rooms to try to entice children to meet with them or have the child send inappropriate pictures or videos over the Internet.

So Branson sent out a list of terms that parents should watch for if their child is sending text messages or chatting with someone online. For example, LMIRL means “let’s meet in real life.”

Lawrence High School Principal Matt Brungardt said technology has changed the game as far as with whom students could communicate. But it doesn’t change the job of parents to find out who their child is talking to.

Brungardt and his wife tell their own children they are monitoring their online activity, including on Facebook and other Web sites.

“You still need to have the same level of diligence and know your kid’s friends,” Brungardt said.

Branson said if parents monitor their child’s activity, they can play a role in possible crime prevention.

“The parent has the greatest power in the world: inquiry,” Branson said. “They should ask what’s going on. Sometimes it’s difficult conversation. Sometimes you may learn more than you want to know.

“But it’s simple. Parent’s need to ask what’s going on.”


lgreen17 8 years ago

Hey Charles, I'm wondering what's going on? You are never in the courtroom? There's a rape trial going on RIGHT NOW, and you have someone else prosecuting it! Why don't you get in the courtroom and actually do the job you were elected to do instead of putting out public service commercials? (PS the next election is not this year, relax)

redfred 8 years ago

Charles is not in the courtroom because he is a politician and not a prosecutor.

Nonsense 8 years ago

Hey Laura,

He is doing exactly what he was elected to do and, oh yeah, he tries cases too ---- Miller, Smith, Espinales, Walton, Friday, need I go on? Go smoke....

costello 8 years ago

Oh, my God! Can someone fix the grammar in the caption to the photo? It hurts to look at it. I had to avert my eyes!

Make it " whom they are talking" or "...with whom they are talking."

Heck I'm not a purist; I'd even accept something like "...who they are talking with."

Just please not " whom they are talking with."

Danielle Brunin 8 years ago

Yes parents, you do need to monitor your children's text messages and computer use because if they get themselves into trouble, heaven knows that the Branson and his office will drop or lessen the charges against the perp. Sorry, I had to get that dig in.

Hawk6643 8 years ago

Seriously? I have never seen anyone text like that. I guess maybe it is just the younger generation, but college age kids don't use that crap.

Maybe parents shouldn't be given teenagers phones to use. I understand that is probably stretching it, but they could at least make it so they weren't allowed to send text messages.

Ricky_Vaughn 8 years ago

I don't think he's talking about college kids Hawk...

Katara 8 years ago

Hawk6643 (Anonymous) says… Maybe parents shouldn't be given teenagers phones to use. I understand that is probably stretching it, but they could at least make it so they weren't allowed to send text messages. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Any parent should be able to call their wireless company and have texting capability or internet access blocked from their kid's phone free of charge.

jonas_opines 8 years ago

"Maybe parents shouldn't be given teenagers phones to use."

Don't the parents have their own phones?

jonas_opines 8 years ago

Oh, and thanks for publishing these terms. . . so the kids will know to make new ones.

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