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BRYAN, Texas ā€” When Ashlee Collins’ aunt told her about the Greater Friendship District Association’s Parent Awareness session, she knew it was a great opportunity to bring her kids out.

Her sons start middle and elementary school on Thursday, and as a mother, she wants to make sure they stay safe during the school year.

“I just want to be able to have as much information as I can possibly have to make sure my kids are making the right choices,” Collins said.

Collins was one of at least 60 parents and guardians who attended the session to learn about the dangers kids face during school and while vaping and browsing social media.

Chairperson of Scholarship for the association Agnes Gray says it’s an issue that is evolving.

Gray has worked with children for 47 years as a former Bryan ISD employee and an employee in juvenile prison systems.

Gray says parents like Collins need extra help to protect kids.

“Iā€™m continuously learning how to give back my compassion, my love for children who need it, but also I want it give back to the children in the community,” Gray said.

Gray hosted the event, inviting District Attorney Jarvis Parsons, law enforcement from Bryan Police Department and College Station Police Department and school officials like Superintendent, Ginger Carrabine.

Now, she hopes it sparks more conversations between parents and their kids.

“Hopefully, this opens up a dialogue with many, many parents who think everything is good,” Gray said.

During the session, Parsons advised parents to monitor who kids are interacting with on social media, what apps they’re using and what they’re sharing.

He says parents should talk to kids, especially young boys, about scams such as catfishing and sextortion, a form of extortion where attackers threaten to post nude photos or videos of the victim unless given money or more sexual content.

Law enforcement and school officials warned parents about the addictive quality of vaping, and that it is now a felony to use vape pens containing THC, a chemical found in marijuana.

Collins says the information she learned won’t change her parenting style too much.

“I feel like I’m a pretty good parent. I feel like on my kids hard enough. I want them to know they can come talk to me about anything,” Collins said.

But she will be more alert.

“As for the privacy part, I did pick up on that, so I’m going to try to engage more into their cellphones and stuff like that, to try to stay on top of scammers,” Collins said.

If you missed the session, Gray encourages you to read local and state laws and engage with your local law enforcement and school officials, and the organization even plans to hold a cellphone literacy session to teach you how to operate them.

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