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Are you involved in your child#8217;s school? Do you know what kind of classes they are taking? What are the extracurricular activities in which they are involved?

Do you know who their friends are and who their friends’ parents are?

We hope the answer to all of these is a resounding “yes.”

If you are involved, that’s great.

But do you know who your child is communicating with on the Internet? Do you know what Internet sites they are visiting?

All this past week MSNBC has been running a show they did in which police officers posed as teens and communicated via e-mail with suspected pedophiles.

In his case, the officers were talking on-line as though they were a 14-year-old girl. And the men got hooked.

The men, who indicated their interest, were instructed to meet the supposed teen at a house at a specific time.

The cameras and the reporter were there waiting when they arrived.

Without fail the men who showed up at the house all had the same old song and dance – excuses for being there other than for meeting the young girl.

One man even said he thought the girl was very lonely and had only agreed to meet her so he could provide comfort.

Most of them claimed it was the first time they had ever done such a thing. Yeah, right.

And one guy, when told to come through the garage, strip off his clothes and enter the home naked, did exactly that. Oh, and he was carrying the beer the “teen” had asked for in her e-mail.

If you aren’t convinced about the danger involved in this kind of activity there is nothing we can do for you.

But for the rest of you, be aware. The Internet, as great a tool as it is, can be just as deadly as allowing your child to play with a loaded gun.

There are some very scary people out there and they are surfing the Net looking for your child, or your neighbor’s child. They don’t really care who the boy or girl is as long as they are willing to talk to them.

These are very slick characters and they look for children with low self esteem and other personal issues that make them an easier mark.

They play to the child’s weaknesses, and once hooked, reel them in like a trophy fish.

And then, when they are finished with them, many of these sick, degenerate people throw their catch away, usually in a shallow grave somewhere not far from the scene of the crime.

So, after reading this, go talk to your child. Find out what and where they are visiting on the Internet. If you don’t believe them, check out the history on the computer. It leaves a trail much like the bread crumbs in the old fairy tale. It will tell you where they have been and may help you head off a disaster.

And if the child thinks you are intruding on their rights, ask them “what rights?” And tell them you’d rather do that than plan a funeral for them.