Overview |  My Child is Being Bullied | My Child is Bullying | Helping Your Child With…

Cyber-Safety
Taking A Stand
Loneliness
Recess Troubles
Ratting vs. Reporting
Staying Safe On The Way Home
Accepting Differences
Respect and Kindness
Feelings
The New School Year

 Cybersafety

Computers and Internet access are part of our children’s lives. We need to find ways to make their journeys onto the Web as safe as possible. There are many benefits to using the Internet, just as there are dangers. Awareness and some simple rules will help protect your child from many concerns, including on-line bullying.

 1. Keep the computer in a place where adults have frequent contact. Avoid computers in the bedroom or remote office. When possible you should be able to see the computer screen and monitor what is happening.
 2. Limited computer time. As we are reminded again and again, this generation of children are too fat and too sedentary. Have a purpose for using the computer such as research or typing a report or story.
 3. Generate computer rules as a family. This might include what to do if they encounter offensive, pornographic or racist materials on the computer.
 4. Teach your children the rule: Backspace, leave and tell. If they encounter material that makes them feel frightened, hurt or shocked, they press the back space key to take them out of the site, then leave and tell an adult. If the site won’t shut down, the child should leave and tell.
 5. If your child is being bullied over the Internet – keep the e-mails (or in some cases, the website address). Don’t trash the offending e-mail in anger. Keep it, print it and take it to your child’s school. Do not reply to the e-mail.
 6. Go on-line with your children. Have them show you their favourite website and show you around. Show them your favourite site or one related to an interest they have or a topic they are studying at school.
 7. Go on-line together and plan a trip to anywhere in the world. Show your children how to search safely on the Internet while finding out all about a country or location they’d like to visit someday.

Your child’s school and/or board should have an Internet safety policy, which all students and parents should sign before going on-line. The policy looks at acceptable use, unacceptable use and should touch on bullying using e-mail and the Internet. If your school does not have a policy, work with administration to draft one. The policy should consider, but not be limited to, the following:

 1. Role model acceptable Internet use. Show children how to get out of an inappropriate site and how to report the site. Show them safe ways to search for information and how to use critical thinking to decide if they want to explore a site.
 2. Give them various search engines that are safer and ensure they will find sites suited to their age and purpose rather than those catering to adult interests.
 3. Misinformation on the net: Take children into sites that have misinformation or badly written information. Yahooligans has an area of their site dedicated to this. Show children how using the search button on their browser will bring up commercial sites that companies pay to have appear first in a search even though it is not a direct match to their search parameters. Help them become critical users of the Internet by encouraging them to ask questions about the relevance, reliability, neutrality and truthfulness of the information they encounter on a site.

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