Teaching children how to safely use and interact with media and the internet relies on collaboration between parents, educators, and students. The following links and information are designed to help teach our children appropriate ways to use social media, interact with one another online or while gaming, and help them avoid contact with predators. Much of this information is provided by the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (MOICAC).
According to MOICAC, the most common issues students face online are cyberbullying and interaction with sexual predators. Even the sites and apps that are designed for children are sometimes used by predators interested in accessing our kids. Any site, game or app that allows users to chat or interact with others has the potential to be problematic for a variety of reasons, including bullying, catfishing and inappropriate behaviors. Research shows that limiting access to media may not be as effective as teaching students how to be responsible about using media and the internet properly.
The most effective tool parents and educators have to combat these threats is open and ongoing communication. Please start a conversation today with your children about the immediate dangers and long-term consequences of their online behavior. Revisit the conversation as your child gets older and their online activities change.
For many parents it’s hard to comprehend that children are not only viewing inappropriate pictures, comments and actions, but in some cases, they are creating it. Please consider the following topics when thinking about internet safety for students of all ages:
- Keeping personal information private
- Appropriate use of pictures and language
- Dealing with pressure to talk about or send inappropriate pictures/messages/dares/challenges
- How to recognize when there is a problem (bullying, tricks, predators)
- When to get an adult
- It’s ALWAYS okay to tell
Your child’s feelings of safety and well-being are of the highest priority for the district and we hope the following resources will assist in promoting safe and healthy decisions for students online.
Please utilize the links below to learn more about the internet and promoting safe, responsible behaviors in your children who utilize the media.