More and more public schools are getting serious about internet safety.
In an effort to safeguard students online, some schools are introducing courses designed to teach them about web safety and etiquette. For instance, freshmen at Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy are learning how to monitor their digital footprint.
At Schwenksville Elementary School, also near Philadelphia, fifth graders are taught how to spot fake websites. And at Gresham-Barlow Web Academy near Portland, middle schoolers take an online safety course that tackles cyberbullying, online plagiarism and other forms of unethical Web-based behavior.
Educators creating these courses say that with the Internet being such a big part of these students' lives, schools need to do a better job of teaching kids how to navigate its potential pitfalls.
Chris Lehmann, principal of the Science Leadership Academy says, "All of the drama, all of the growing up, all of the growing pains, all of the things we know happen in high school now also happen digitally. Think of every mistake you made as a teenager. Now imagine making that mistake in a permanent public forum."
My friend Bob Waliszewski, the director of Focus on the Family’s “Plugged In” department, reminds us that Jesus cares about what we watch and listen to—even what websites we visit.
He says “be intentional about keeping it clean, and when you get a chance to be a voice, be a voice for righteousness, a voice that encourages and inspires, and offers hope in this fallen world.”
I’m Bill Maier for family-friendly, commercial free, WBCL.