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Israk Mikraj





After tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and
get on-line.. She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213. She
checked her Buddy List and saw GoTo123 was on. She sent him an

ByAngel213: Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following
me home today. It was really weird!

GoTo123: LOL You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following
you? Don't you live in a safe neighbourhood?

ByAngel213: Of course I do. LOL. I guess it was my imagination cuz' I
didn't see anybody when I looked out.

GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that

ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid you know.

GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?

ByAngel213: Yes, and we won!!

GoTo123: That's great! Who did you play?

ByAngel213: We played the Hornets. LOL. Their uniforms are so gross!
They look like bees. LOL.

GoTo123: What is your team called?

ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our
uniforms. They are really cool.

GoTo123: Did you pitch?

ByAngel213: No, I play second base. I got to go. My homework has to
done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!

GoTo123: Catch you later. Bye

Meanwhile, GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for
profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He
took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so

Her name: Shannon
Birthday: Jan. 3, 1985
Age: 13
State where she lived: North Carolina

Hobbies: softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall.
Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton
because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself
until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home
from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday
afternoons on the school team, and the team was named the
Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her
jersey. He knew she was in the eighth grade at the Canton
Junior High School
. She had told him all this in the
conversations they had on- line. He had enough information
to find her now.

Shannon didn't tell her parents about the incident on
the way home from the ballpark that day. She didn't want
them to make a scene and stop her from walking home from the
softball games. Parents were always overreacting and hers
were the worst. It made her wish she was not an only child.
Maybe if she had brothers and sisters, her parents wouldn't
be so over-protective.

By Thursday, Shannon had forgotten about the footsteps
following her.

Her game was in full swing when suddenly she felt someone
staring at her. It was then that the memory came back. She
glanced up from her second base position to see a man
watching her closely.

He was leaning against the fence behind first base and he
smiled when she looked at him. He didn't look scary and
she quickly dismissed the sudden fear she had felt.

After the game, he sat on a bleacher while she talked to
the coach. She noticed his smile once again as she walked
past him. He nodded and she smiled back. He noticed her name
on the back of her shirt. He knew he had found her.

Quietly, he walked a safe distance behind her. It was only
a few blocks to Shannon 's home, and once he saw where she
lived he quickly returned to the park to get his car.

Now he had to wait. He decided to get a bite to eat until
the time came to go to Shannon 's house. He drove to a fast
food restaurant and sat there until time to make his move.

Shannon was in her room later that evening when she heard
voices in the living room.

"Shannon, come here," her father called.. He sounded upset
and she couldn't imagine why. She went into the room to
see the man from the ballpark sitting on the sofa.

"Sit down," her father began, "this man has just told us a
most interesting story about you."

Shannon sat back. How could he tell her parents anything?
She had never seen him before today!

"Do you know who I am, Shannon ?" the man asked..

"No," Shannon answered.

"I am a police officer and your online friend, GoTo123."

Shannon was stunned. "That's impossible! GoTo123 is a kid my
age! He's 14. And he lives in Michigan !"

The man smiled. "I know I told you all that, but it wasn't
true. You see, Shannon , there are people on-line who pretend
to be kids; I was one of them. But while others do it to
injure kids and hurt them, I belong to a group of parents who
do it to protect kids from predators. I came here to find you
to teach you how dangerous it is to talk to people on-line.
You told me enough about yourself to make it easy for me to
find you. You named the school you went to, the name of your
ball team and the position you played. The number and name on
your jersey just made finding you a breeze."

Shannon was stunned. "You mean you don't live in Michigan?"

He laughed. "No, I live in Raleigh. It made you feel safe to
think I was so far away, didn't it?"

She nodded.

"I had a friend whose daughter was like you. Only she wasn't
as lucky. The guy found her and murdered her while she was
home alone. Kids are taught not to tell anyone when they are
alone, yet they do it all the time on-line. The wrong people
trick you into giving out information a little here and there
on-line. Before you know it, you have told them enough for
them to find you without even realising you have done it.
I hope you've learned a lesson from this and won't do it again.
Tell others about this so they will be safe too?"

"It's a promise!"

That night Shannon and her Dad and Mom thanked God for protecting
Shannon from what could have been a tragic situation.



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