Online Safety Inappropriate Content
Access to Inappropriate Material:
Whether material is inappropriate or not will depend on the actual material and the age of the child. Material that deals with sex, gambling, promotes violence, the use of weapons, or hate crimes, advocates the use of harmful substances such as tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs, suicide, or harmful practices are not appropriate for school age children.
Producing or sharing inappropriate material:
Sexting is sharing nude or partially nude photos or videos of themselves or others using the Internet or cell phones. In a recent national poll 1 in 5 teens admitted to either sending or receiving this type picture. Sometimes the children admitted sending them as a response to someone else that sent them a similar picture. They don't recognize the dangers. They don't realize it is illegal and is starting to be prosecuted. They could have to register as a sex offender. A 15 year old girl in Pennsylvania sent pictures of herself to her boyfriend and is now is facing charges for child pornography and a 19 year old boy has to register as a sex offender for the next 25 years for sending pictures of his nude girlfriend to other teens. Children don't realize once they send it out it could go anywhere. They need to think, "Is this an image that I would want others to see?" If they regret sending it, they can't get it back. A teenage girl in Cincinnati killed herself when her ex-boyfriend sent her nude picture to other girls in her school.
Social Networking Sites (Facebook, MySpace) are places where students might post things that are really inappropriate for everyone to see. They don't realize that potential employers or college admission boards are just some of the people interested in their site. They need to ask themselves would I want everyone to see this. Is this the image I want to portray to others? What is my online reputation?
Suggestions for keeping students safe from inappropriate material:
- Computer should be in a public area of the house and monitored by an adult
- Set rules for where children may go on the Internet
- Discuss what children should do if they find an inappropriate site, such as turn off monitor and call an adult
- Check the browser's history to see where children are going on the Internet if you were not available to monitor
- Think about installing a filter for your computer to block inappropriate sites
- Use a child friendly browser that filters inappropriate sites
- Make sure your child understands the consequences of sexting
- Remind your child to follow the personal safety rules when using a Social Networking site
- Discuss what things your child may post to their site