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Mother frightened by Internet threat

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February 27, 2008

Albany --An Albany woman says she's afraid for her daughter's life after threats against her were posted on the Internet.

 The woman says her two daughters were beaten in a fight Friday night, then over the weekend threats of more violence were posted on a my-space page. Police are worried by kids and Cyber-bullying.

 Daphne Hightower shows me printed copies of threats against her daughter she says she found posted on a My Space page over the weekend. Hightower said "someone called and asked us did we see what was on the Internet. About my daughter's life being threatened. That 50 girls were going to jump her Monday morning at school."

Hightower said Friday night her 17 year old daughter was attacked by several girls at the State Theatre. When her other daughter went to pick her up, Hightower said she was also beaten. That night Hightower called Police reporting that several car loads of teens were outside her home shouting threats. Then she was shown the Internet threat to attack her daughter at Monroe High School. Hightower said "I just been talking to Judges, Investigators, Gang Task Force Officers, School Police Officers, School Principals. I did everything a parent was supposed to do."

Hightower reported the teenagers she thought were involved to the authorities, and school officials say one was removed from Monroe High School because of the complaint. Police say cyber bullying like this is becoming more common.  Albany Police Lt. James Williams said "forty percent of high school kids using the Internet, and also being threatened by some type of way on the Internet."

Police say parents need to monitor their children's Internet postings and phone text messaging. Lt. Williams said "parents be mindful and watch out what their kids are doing on the Internet."  Hightower said "you really just got to sit down with your kids and see what's going on."

Hightower said she is still considering pulling her daughter out of school, because of the posted threats on the Internet.

Lt. James Williams said people who make threats posted on My Space pages or the Internet can be prosecuted for making terroristic threats, which is a felony.

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