ME2U was featured as the top story on a local news channel on October 19. It was a great chance to share a bit of our vision and message with the local community. The story’s text is below, along with a link to the video.
By Joe LePage
5:20 p.m. EDT, October 19, 2012
It seems to be an epidemic—too many cases of teachers, coaches, or even pastors accused of having inappropriate relationships with young people they’re supposed to watch over.
A new website called ME2U aims to help curb the problem.
“That is the thing I see the most as I look for ways to use this, is unfortunately after things go bad,” said Chet Cromer, aMartinsville-based developer. “If we can prevent that I think that is the greatest opportunity we have.”
Cromer said ME2U will keep parents in the loop by monitoring the messages their kids send and receive.
“From the very beginning we want to get the parents involved so that they can see what is going on with the relationships with the other adults in their lives,” said Cromer.
It starts with the teams or organizations, which can sign up for ME2U. After that, the cell phone numbers of everyone in the group go in a database. Then, every week, every message to and from a child is emailed to his or her parents.
“We do not want them to come to the site to check up on their kids, we want to be a little bit more proactive in that accountability,” said Cromer.
Parents, like Bryan Campbell, like the added access because it’s better than the alternative.
“It could traumatize a kid, it really could,” said parent Bryan Campbell. “As many of those opportunities we have to give a positive reinforcement, we need to be there.”
Others, like Rebecca Kanach have concerns about the site and similar programs.
“I would probably pause and want to know how are those texts protected?” said Kanach. “What encryption is in place to keep someone down the street from getting them?”
Cromer said work on the site is ongoing, but he believes the concept is rock solid.
“Instead of throwing the entire concept of texting these kids, when it is a practical application out the window, they will actually be able to use it in a way that is both effective and meaningful to those kid’s lives,” Cromer said.