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Police Officers Give Internet Safety Tips at Berner


“Beware of what you’re posting. It will follow you.” That was the guidance from a pair of Nassau County police officers who recently visited Berner Middle School in the Massapequa School District to talk about internet and social media safety.

Officers Teana Grande and Eugene Messmer, from the Nassau County Police Department’s Community Affairs office, spoke to sixth, seventh and eighth graders during their physical education classes. Topics included digital citizenship, responsible use of social media, bullying and cyberbullying. They reminded students to be mindful of their digital footprints, noting that their posts and comments today could affect them in the future. Colleges and employers often review a candidate’s social media usage, the officers emphasized.

School should be a safe space for everyone, Officers Grande and Messmer explained, as they spoke about the Dignity for All Students Act and the consequences students can face for bullying.

Dean of Students Kristen Meoli said that the presentation reinforced messages students have heard throughout the school year. In October, sports agent Mark Leinweaver spoke to students during a character matters assembly, and in March, Berner’s Chiefs Challenge Club organized Character Education Day with guest speakers and classroom activities that focused on acceptance, empathy, kindness and respect.