The man was a part-time volleyball coach at a Catholic high school and had previously served as a volunteer coach for a junior varsity baseball team in another city.~*~*~*~How does this happen? Let’s start there. The whole point of Omegle is to talk to strangers. Point of fact, you can’t be on the app for more than a short time without coming across sexually explicit content — the sort of behavior that in real life would get you arrested for indecent exposure. But the draw is you are “chatting” with an anonymous stranger who you will never be connected to again… unless you arrange to do that off site by exchanging phone numbers or other data.
Which is exactly what the girls did. This predator groomed them for 2 weeks, before getting them to agree to be picked up and taken back to his home.
Blocking Omegle (or any similar site) is not the answer because tomorrow there will be a new app to take its place.
While it may be an uncomfortable discussion, helping your child protect themselves when you aren’t there is crucial. Failure to have those conversations because you are afraid “it will make them curious” or “steal their innocence” could literally place your child in a situation where s/he is completely defenseless, and inclined to be compliant because they don’t want to hurt their predator's feelings.
Of course, you should also check if your child has apps like Blink, Snapchat, or BurnNote installed on their phone because these apps were created with the express purpose of sending messages which are deleted shortly afterward.
Using hypothetical situations to role play so your child can experience the emotions connected to their choices will help them construct a neural network. Remember the goal is NOT to get them to swear “I won’t use Omegle.” Rather, the goal is for THE TEEN to be able to recognize situations that seemharmless can still be dangerous.