Internet safety has become the concern of every parent and school district. Child sexual predators and those who engage in cyber-bullying and cyber-stalking are a real threat. Many children spend time on social networking sites and surfing the web every day. Most schools don’t know how to monitor or protect children on the internet. Many school district administrators are worried that something really bad will happen that somehow involves the internet and the school system may be liable.
Internet Safety for Educators is a three-part video webinar series featuring Hale Guyer, former municipal officer, Sheriff’s Command Officer, and high tech crimes investigator for the Ogle County, Illinois State’s Attorney Office. He is a recipient of the Illinois Governor’s Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement Training.
- In May 2009, children aged 2-11 made up nearly 10% of the active online universe (Nielsen, 2010).
- 18% of 8 to 10 year olds spend time on some kind of social networking site daily (Kaiser, 2010).
- 71% of parents report having experienced one or more internet-related issues with their children within the past year (Harris Interactive Poll, 2007).
- The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), designed to prevent websites from collecting personal information from those under 13 without their parent's permission, is routinely evaded by children who change their date of birth at sign-up.
- Firewalls maintained by schools can be bypassed by hackers with even modest skills.
- Parental control software is ineffective.
- Personal information divulged to social networks is not secure.
- Sexual predators are commonly found in chat rooms.
- Cyber bullying is a problem for nearly half of American teens.
To show how prevalent bullying has become, the Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics completed a survey in 2010 of over 40,000 students. The results of the study showed that half of all high school students (50%) admitted to bullying someone in the past year and almost half (47%) confirmed that they had been bullied in some way in the past year. Read about the study: Bullying and violence The Ethics of American Youth: 2010
Recently, state departments of education and local school districts have become more proactive in reducing bullying in schools. Bullying takes many forms and may include the use of the internet. In a letter sent to schools, colleges and universities around the country, the United States Department of Education reminds educators of their responsibility in protecting the civil rights of children and preventing harassment of students. Read the letter
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