Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Many parents are already starting to feel that sense of dread as we move ever closer to the start of the school year. For some it’s because those expensive school supply lists are beginning to arrive in the mailbox or inbox; for others because we dread the early morning departure or afternoon homework routines. But don’t count summer over just yet. And if your kids are bored, done with camps and vacations, maybe they’ve turned to the computer to fill some time. If so, make sure you are watching their online activities.
With 90% of children between the ages of 5 and 17 using computers and 1 in 5 youth receiving unwanted sexual solicitations online*, it’s a fact that the Internet is a dangerous place for many children. Yet even more parents are unaware of the dangers faced daily by children online, and of those parents who are aware, they are unsure how to protect children.
So the Monique Burr Foundation for Children, Inc. decided we would help parents, professionals, and anyone interested. When we joined Childhelp in the development of Speak Up Be Safe, we included Internet Safety and Cyberbullying as a part of the curriculum because of the importance of these topics in the lives of children and teens today. And how great is it that others are taking notice and acting as well?
Facebook and Time Warner have joined forces to help stop cyberbullying, a real and dangerous threat facing youth today. Read more about their Initiative, Stop Cyberbullying, Speak Up and their joint efforts here.
And although Facebook rules require a teen to be 13 to create a profile, let’s not be that naïve – there are much younger kids on social networking sites and ALL parents need to be educated and vigilant. Florida’s 1st through 5th grade students will learn Internet Safety and Cyberbullying prevention tips as Speak Up Be Safe sessions are implemented in all Florida public schools over the next 5 years. But why wait? Parents, go to www.moniqueburrfoundation.org to download information and tips so you can become educated and empowered and teach your kids to be smarter and safer online now!