PROTECTING CHILDREN IN THE 21st CENTURY
"Just as you would not send children near a busy street without some safety rules, you should not send them onto the Information Superhighway without some rules of the road."
Tom Corbett as Attorney General
The internet has become an important part of many students' lives. Used appropriately, the internet can contribute to a student's academic growth and help prepare them for the workplace. Children use the internet and other connected technologies (cell phones, computer games, web cams, instant messaging) to access information, socialize, and play games. Along with the many benefits also come some risks:
- 42% have said they posted personal information online (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2005)
- 43% of middle and high school students reported having experienced cyber-bullying in the past year (Harris Interactive, Trends and Tudes, Volume 6, Issue 4 April 2007)
- 50% of 15 and 16 year olds have experienced cyber-bullying in the past year (girls more often than boys) (Harris Interactive, Trends and Tudes, Volume 6, Issue 4 April 2007)
- 54% frequently have private conversations with online strangers through instant messaging (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 2005)
- 64% of teens say they do things online they would not want their parents to know about (Pew Internet and American Life, Protecting Teens Online, 2005)
- 89% of sexual solicitations occurred in either chat rooms or Instant Messaging (Online Victimization, David Finkelhor, 2000)
- 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited online (only 25% of those told a parent) (Online Victimization, David Finkelhor, 2000)
Educating children about on-line safety enables them to get the most out of the internet without becoming a victim. The Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act requires schools to educate minors about appropriate online behavior and cyber-bullying awareness and response. Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 has identified an online library of resources to meet the needs of our students. The Common Sense Curriculum addresses internet manners, bullying, and ethics as well as safety and security online.
Exploring the links below, parents can preview the curriculum or to get safety tips to use at home. Teachers can utilize the Common Sense curriculum and access age appropriate lessons.