Review the Chesterfield School Internet Safety Program

Background

In March 2006, the General Assembly of Virginia amended Section 22.1-70.2 of the Code of Virginia to require that Virginia public school systems integrate Internet safety into their instructional programs and their acceptable use policies by September 2008. The Virginia Department of Education has established guidelines for developing an Internet safety program for K-12 students.

Internet safety program of Chesterfield County Public Schools

The Chesterfield County Public Schools Internet Safety program began in elementary schools during the 2007-2008 school year and secondary schools in the 2008-2009 school year.

The program focuses on these topics:

  • Internet as a tool - The Internet offers a wealth of resources that enhance our daily lives. Using e-mail, listening to music or looking for a new job is easily accomplished via this world-connecting tool! Students also need to realize that the Internet can be misused and turned into a dangerous place to play and work. They should be made aware of safety and security topics that will help them avoid Internet dangers.
  • Cybercitizenship and manners - The rules and etiquette we follow at home, work and school also exist on the Internet! It is important for students to learn about their social, legal and ethical responsibilities when they use the Internet.
  • Personal safety - From e-mail to shopping to research to playing games, the Internet puts the world at our fingertips! But, like anything else, the Internet can be misused. Knowing what kind of personal information is safe to give out, what kinds of sites are safe to visit and what to do if confronted by a cyberbully or an online predator are necessary tools for students who use the Internet.
  • Intellectual property - It is important for students to have respect for the work of others. This aspect of Internet safety explores piracy, copyright and plagiarism to strengthen students’ ethical responsibility to cite sources that they use in research projects.
  • Cyberbullying - Unfortunately, bullying has made its way online. There are students who send messages meant to torment, threaten, humiliate or embarrass others. Students need to know what to do if they are cyberbullied. They also should understand how not to become a bully themselves.

We hope you will use the links below to help answer concerns you may have about your child’s Internet usage. Parents and schools working together can help keep children safe on the Internet. If you have questions about Chesterfield County Public Schools’ Internet safety program, please contact your school’s principal.

Here are links to help parents keep children safe on the Internet:

Netsmartz
http://www.netsmartz.org/uyn/uynfaq.htm

Netsmartz is one of the programs being used in the elementary Internet safety curriculum. This site provides answers to questions that parents may have when communicating with children about Internet safety. The site provides activities for parents and children to practice their “Netsmartz!”

WebWise Kids
http://www.webwisekids.org/index.asp?page=parents
http://www.webwisekids.org/Internet_safety_tips.htm

WebWise Kids has created Wired with Wisdom, an educational program that gives parents an opportunity to learn about Internet safety issues.

Cyber Tipline
http://www.cybertipline.com/

Sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Cyber Tipline provides parents a location to report child sexual exploitation. Information on additional resources and Internet safety campaigns is also provided.

Connect Safely
http://www.connectsafely.org/

This web site provides safety tips and advice for parents regarding social networking through the Internet and cell phones as well as video/webcam sharing. Tips are also provided in Spanish.

Internet Superheroes
http://www.internetsuperheroes.org/parents/index.html

This program from WiredKids, starring Marvel comic book characters, helps parents understand what children are doing on the Internet. It also shares ways to keep kids safe while on the Internet. Activities for parents and children to do together are provided.

OnGuard Online
http://onguardonline.gov/socialnetworking.html

OnGuard provides parents a guide to social networking sites and ways to protect personal information. Information about spamming and identity theft are included.

Cyber Smart Kids
http://www.cybersmartkids.com.au/for-parents_tips.htm

Cyber Smart Kids provides a general checklist of tips for parents to create a safe online environment while providing separate checklists of Internet safety tips by age groups. Parents can print out the tips.

Get Netwise
http://kids.getnetwise.org/safetyguide/

Family safety tips for different age groups are provided as well as descriptions of technology risks and how to protect privacy online.