HANCOCK CO., Ind.(WISH) - Police officers took to social media to find out about an underage drinking party that resulted in the arrest of 21 high school students on Sunday morning.
The students were from Greenfield Central High School and Eastern Hancock High School.
“Kids are teenagers and they are often times prone to make bad decisions,” said Eastern Hancock High Principal Dave Pfaff.
On June 30th, the Greenfield Police Department started an underage drinking task force. The task force, along with local school administrators and the Neighbors Against Substance Abuse have been turning to social media to not only educate about their cause but to also crack down on underage drinking.
“Maybe there were some folks who were at the party that had got away before police got there. Might be able to identify them,” said Greenfield Police Detective Sergeant J.D. Fortner.
Principals and NASA also use sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram everyday to keep tabs on students' pictures and posts. But, Det. Fortner says, the policing should start in your living room.
“Just be aware of what your child is putting on their phone,” Fortner said.
Police say many students and their peers took to social media to voice their opinions and concerns following the arrests. Officials have been combing social media for clues as to who else might have been at that party. A platform of ongoing conversations that could expose these parent-free parties before it’s too late. But, parents admit, policing these ever-changing applications isn’t easy.
”Because it's just so easy for kids. I mean, it's a constant!” said Greenfield resident Charlotte Chandler.
Still, agencies have a strong warning out to parents. They say parents have to get involved in monitoring their children's online activity because it not only catches inappropriate behavior, but can actually prevent it.
Now, 21 underage drinkers are in big trouble. And more may be on the way. Pfoff says the investigation into Sunday's bust is ongoing and social media was playing a big role into collecting that information.
Greenfield police has started organizing social media education workshops for parents. Contact Greenfield Det. J.D. Fortner at email@example.com or 477-4410 for more information about the workshops.
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