This is the first year that Ohio is recognizing Cyber Safety week as October 3rd-7th. Ridgewood Middle School is taking a proactive approach to educate our students about the dangers that can be associated with the use of technology. Katie Seward, Project Coordinator for First Step Family Violence Intervention Services, will be providing information for 4-7thgrades on Cyber Safety, which includes Cyber Bullying, the week of October 10th. Students need support and guidance to use the internet, online video games, and cell phones safely and wisely. The internet is a useful tool for research and for fun but it can also be a dangerous tool used by criminals to prey on our students. It can also be a place where our children are being bullied. Cyber Bullying is when one child targets another child using the internet, cell phone, or other interactive technologies. It is when a child is being harassed and humiliated when harmful messages are sent or posted by using these technologies. Here are some tips and helpful websites for families:
· Set ground rules for time limits for using technology.
· Check each computer’s internet history to make sure your kids are looking at appropriate websites.
· Reinforce to your children that whatever is said, posted, and sent through the internet, instant messaging or a cell phone cannot be taken back and deleted items could be recovered.
· Keep lines of communication open: If your child receives any inappropriate material, pictures or messages to make sure they report that to you and then you can report that to the local police department.
· Kids make sure you do not give out personal information and never agree to get together with someone you meet online.
· Encourage your child to talk to you or another trusted adult if he/she is a victim of cyber bullying.
· Remind your child that making threats or saying mean things through instant message or by cell phone is unacceptable.