The program is designed to be a wake-up call for parents.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR NEW CASTLE BUREAU
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Parents who need to know what goes on at a rave can find out at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the George Washington Intermediate School.
A program sponsored by Lawrence County District Attorney Matthew Mangino's office and the Pennsylvania Attorney General, "What Every Parent Should Know: Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, 'Rents and Raves," is free for parents only, Mangino said.
Mangino explained that 'rents is an abbreviated term used by teens to describe their parents. Raves are dance parties where drugs such as ecstasy are often distributed.
Kid-friendly organizations such as Kiwanis and the YWCA will have information booths set up, and at 7 p.m. Elaine Surma, special agent of the attorney general's office, will present the program in a big-screen, music video-type format to show parents what happens at a rave and potential hazards to children and teens, such as drug and alcohol abuse and abuse of prescription drugs.
The program is a wake-up call to parents who think they know every possible danger their children might face, Mangino said.
"Parents who grew up in the '60s and '70s think they've seen it all, some that they've experienced it all," Mangino said. "They will be surprised. The culture has changed. Drugs have changed. Drugs are far more potent and potentially lethal than they were 30 years ago," he said.
Monitoring young people's use of the Internet and what can happen if parents don't will also be discussed, he said. One of the simplest methods of monitoring computer use is to keep the computer out in the open, he said.
"Don't let a child or teen be unattended on a computer in their bedroom," he said. "Put it in the living room right next to the TV."
Mangino said children and teens can fall victim to sexual predators who may pretend to be a child or teen, befriend a child or teen in a chat room, for example, then lure them to a meeting place under the guise of swapping music CDs or baseball cards, he said.
Sometimes Internet users can stumble across pornography sites during innocent searches, he said. Many pornography sites on the Web are given names that will likely be used when someone is searching for a Web site and typing in random names.