Friday, August 14, 2009

Watch Your Back

'Watch your back'

Those three words stared back at me from the Facebook chat window.


"Who sent you that?' I asked, as I looked from the computer screen to Alec.

'John Doe', he replied.

John Doe is a boy, who gave Alec a hard time at the beginning of school last year.

Then things seemed to get better.

Then, John Doe got in trouble for something towards the end of the school year. He believes Alec is to blame for him getting caught.

Whether or not Alec had anything to do with it is not the point, as far as I'm concerned.

The 'Watch your back' concerns me, because 'Watch your back' means the same thing if you're 14 or 40.

He's looking to kick Alec's butt.

However, at (closer to) 40 (than 14), I take 'Watch your back' a bit more seriously I think, than little John Doe.

I consider it a full fledged threat.

And I really don't like someone threatening my kid.

I asked Alec to show me the whole message thread.

John Doe accused Alec of ratting him out.

Alec denied it.

He accused.

Alec denied.

He told Alec to 'Watch your back'.


The Mamma Bear side of me wanted to grab that keyboard from Alec and send my OWN message back.

Along the lines of 'LISTEN ya little shit!!!!'

But of course I didn't.

Instead, I calmly took over the keyboard and typed 'What proof do these people/you have that it was me?'

Nothing came back.

So, Alec and I talked about it. And what to do about it.

I considered writing a message on Alec's wall, along the lines of "Listen John Doe ...!'

But, everyone else on Alec's Friend List would also see this, and I don't want to make things worse for him by having John Doe thinking/saying Alec's mommy was fighting his battles for him.

Then, I thought about sending John Doe a private message, letting him know that I saw the message thread and I considered what he said a threat, and NOTHING better happen to Alec.

Believe me, I have no intention of threatening this kid, myself. Let me make that clear. I have no intention of threatening this kid, myself.

Everybody straight on that?

I simply wanted him know that I SAW the message thread. Period.

However, his Facebook privacy settings were such that I can't even send him a private message.

Which is an excellent security practice, but sucked for me.

Maybe I should send him an IM? Nope, he was no longer online.

So I did nothing.

Except ensure Alec that he can let me know how things go when school starts, and we'll take it from there.

And to let me know if he gets any more messages from this kid.


It was so much easier, when you could just take the toy they were fighting over, hold them at arms length and say, 'Play NICE boys! Don't be mean to each other.'

Instead of wondering if your kid is going to come home from school one day, bruised and beaten.

Or worse.

No. I'm not being paranoid, People.

Look at the times we live in.

The high school these boys will be attending next year, had three bomb threats and lock downs last year alone.

Kids don't seem to believe in an old fashion fist fight these days.

Violence IS in our schools.

I'm being realistic, somewhat apprehensive, and even a bit angry.

But not paranoid.

I tried to save the Facebook chat history ... just in case.

In case this kid DOES happen to go after Alec.

Cause if THAT happens? THEN I'll be stepping in. And calling the police.

And pointing back to that original 'Watch your back' message.

Unfortunately, I don't think you can save the chat history. Or if you can, I don't believe Alec had that option turned on.

Alec doesn't want to get the crap kicked out of him.

But he also doesn't want me getting involved.

What's a mom to do?

At the risk of doing serious damage to my tongue from biting it, I've agreed not to say anything.

For now.

John Doe may be telling Alec to watch his back, but I'm telling you Mr John Doe ...

I'll be watching YOU!



Ked-E said...

use something like MWSNAP (free to download, easy to use) to capture the screen.

and yeah i'd be having a little word with Mr. John Doe!

hope things work out

Sue said...

Kim, you don't have to download anything (Sorry Ked-E). Just hit the 'Print Screen' button on your keyboard (look above the numbers on the right hand side). This is called taking a screen shot; it automatically copies what is displayed on the screen as you see it. Then you can paste it into paint and save it as a jpeg or print it out. So easy.

Here's a link to Facebook's Questions and Answers about using Chat.

There's a question on there about seeing history, but apparently one can't look through old chats. Silly not to be able to.

Kim's Korner said...

Ked-E - Thanks much Bud! I appreciate the info, I'm usually just a 'print screen' girl, but I'll write this one down for future use, just in case.

Cause I can't seem to get print screen to work on my laptop at work, so it'll come in handy there lol.

Sue - I DID think of print screen. I use that feature ALL the time, but unfortunately, I didn't think of it until AFTER Alec had closed the chat window :-(

Juzt wasn't thinking clearly I guess :-(

I DID do a quick search on 'Saving Facebbook Chat History' right away, and was brought to a group called 'Petition to save FB chats' so that's when I figured you couldn't save them.

STUPID that you can't! Especially in cases like this.

However, the way MY mind works (lol) I figure that if anything should happen to Alec, and I NEED that message for proof of anything, I'm hoping all this crap is still sitting on a server in cyberspace somewhere, and that if I contacted FB dirctly, they could pull it up for me.

Hopefully, it'll never get to that!

Thanks much for the advice Sue!

Daddioof4 said...

This must be so hard for you... to find a balance between protecting your child and allowing him to "deal with this" himself. I am sure I will be in a similar situation so I am following this story closely!!!

Ren :)

IrisoftheWayfarer said...

Wow, something like that would keep me up at night. Frightening.
I hope you can get this taken care of once school starts.

Paige said...

Stopping by from SITS! Have a great Sunday afternoon.

Kim's Korner said...

Daddioof4 - YUP! It's a hard fence to be on. Right now, I'm just trying not to fall off, or drive that little pointy part up my ass ;-)

IrisoftheWayfarer - Welcome! Thanks for stopping by! The school is aware of the situation, from teachers to principal, so I know they've got his back. But it's still not a 'fun' situation to be in. For either him ... or me.

Paige - Welcome! Wow, this is great getting visitors from SITS! What a great group of bloggers :-) Feel free to drop back anytime!