2013-04-04 / Letters to the Editor

Educating kids on the Internet is important

Lawn School recently hosted an event for parents to learn more about keeping our children safe online. The guest speaker, Dr. Larry Filippelli, did a nice job reviewing issues such as cyberbullying, online predators, sexting and managing our children’s online identity.

I think this is one of the most important issues facing parents today. Our children are the first generation to be raised in a world where they have never not had the Internet in their lives. And although it is one of the most amazing tools imaginable, there are things we need to do as parents to ensure that this tool is used responsibly.

Obviously a big concern is a child being targeted by an online predator. We need to teach our kids how to be safe and careful about revealing personal information to possible strangers. But most of the issues facing kids online today are based around poor choices made by them and their friends. This kind of thing is happening every day and we are kidding ourselves if we think our kids are not doing it too. Using a website to send a mean spirited text anonymously. Sending a suggestive picture to a boyfriend. Setting up an alternate Facebook page just for friends so we can’t track their posts.

It is up to us as parents and educators to help our kids navigate this new world. We need to supervise our children’s online activities and educate them about making good decisions. I implore the school to make this a priority. Our kids are savvy and technology moves fast so we need to depend on our school system to help educate us about what kinds of sites our kids are using so that we know what to look for.

Thanks to the School and Police departments for starting an important conversation. I hope we see more about online safety in the curriculum at school and in continued workshops for parents.

Heather Conover
Sampan Avenue
Jamestown

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