Gov. Bill Lee warning parents, educators about internet predators while children learn online

Gov. Bill Lee warning parents, educators about internet predators while children learn online
Gov. Bill Lee gives update on COVID-19 in Tennessee (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee gave an update on COVID-19 in the state.

Because so many children are now participating in virtual learning due to the pandemic, Lee says he is encouraging parents and educators to protect kids from internet predators.

Lee was joined by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch who spoke about cyber crimes against children.

The TBI says since April there’s been a sharp uptick in reporting that requires investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Lee says he’s directed the Department of Education to develop a plan for a more stringent cyber security strategy for school districts.

“Now, more than ever, we want to provide a safe atmosphere for children to learn. We want children to feel safe in their classrooms, even if their classroom is the kitchen table,” said Rausch. “But not only are children working more in a virtual environment, so are the sexual predators,” said Rausch.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Rausch says TBI agents are still working to protect children from internet predators.

Rausch says at the start of quarantine the TBI saw a large and concerning spike in the number of cyber tips.

“The tips more than doubled than the pre-COVID months,” said Rausch.

The TBI has received more than 450 cyber tips so far this year.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.