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Kids in Danger Reportline

Techstination feature for Monday, April 26, 1999

Warnings of violence, on the web. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. There were lots of danger signals about the two teenagers before they went on the terrible rampage against their classmates in Littleton. Some of those signals were on the web. Eric Harris had a site on America Online, where there reportedly were bomb diagrams and words of violence and hate. The Internet, in the eyes of many, is part of the problem. Parry Aftab wants to make it part of the solution...

"I think somebody has to do something."

Aftab is an attorney, author of A Parent's Guide to the Internet and she heads the online safety organization Cyberangels. In the aftermath of Littleton, the group has now created the Kids in Danger Reportline....

"Classmates, I have found, being the mother of two, often know things that adults haven't yet recognized. And kids know, often, who is a danger to themselves or to others.

Aftab says she will receive the reports confidentially at and look at each individual case to determine if it should be reported to school or law enforcement authorities. America Online seems to have stepped up the monitoring what kids say in chat rooms.

"Especially if it's of a sensitive nature, we take action very quickly. In particular against any sort of threat, also including a suicide comment."

Spokeswoman Kim McCreery. In at least one case since Littleton, AOL has notified authorities about possible threats.