Children are growing up in a world where the internet has become an integral part of their lives. The online realm offers an abundance of opportunities for learning, creativity, and connection, but it also presents certain challenges that we, as parents and educators, must address.
Last Tuesday all Year 5 and 6 students took part in a SAPOL presentation called ‘Think U Know’. It educated students about the risks of interacting with strangers and cyberbullying and strategies they can use to keep themselves safe online.
Cyberbullying, which has become increasingly common among teenagers, is a form of bullying using technology, such as the internet or mobile phones. Cyberbullying is repeated behaviour by an aggressor with the intent to harm or embarrass someone. Children can become targets of hurtful comments, offensive content and rumours, or even direct threats or sexual remarks from their peers online, which can be extremely dangerous and harmful.
Teaching children about ‘Online Stranger Danger’ is critical since the anonymity of the internet allows users to hide their true identities, making it difficult to determine who’s really on the other side of the screen. Children may unknowingly interact with strangers who may have harmful intentions. It’s crucial to teach children about the risks associated with sharing personal information online and the importance of not engaging in private conversations with unknown individuals.
It is important to encourage your children to share their online experiences with you. Regularly discussing their activities can help you stay aware of their interactions and intervene if necessary. Also, consider installing parental control software that limits their exposure to inappropriate content and tracks their online activities.
By promoting healthy online behaviours, together we can foster a generation of digitally literate and resilient individuals who navigate the online world with confidence and caution.
Below are some of our CPS student’s thoughts and learning from the ‘Think U Know’ presentation.
- Matt told us that social media was for teenagers as the legal requirement age was 12/13 years old. We learnt that at 10 years old we are responsible for our actions and can be prosecuted. He also said that the average age of gamers is 34 years old, so we should be really careful about who we chat with on these games and never give them any personal information about ourselves.
- I believe this was a very informative talk for us all and we learnt many things that could keep us safe online. Matt talked to senior Craigburn PS students about cyber safety, which included topics such as:
- we never know who we are talking to online,
- when we should tell an adult about a situation online,
- and that cyberbullying is a crime.
- You should always think before you post stuff online or better still, don’t post at all. If you do post something, make sure to NEVER :
- have your school logo or location visible,
- post your address, phone number or your email,
- use your real name on social media accounts,
- use your personal information in your “about me”.
- If you are struggling with something and don’t feel comfortable telling your parents, a close friend, someone you trust, or a teacher you can call/text the helpline. The counsellors that you speak to won’t tell anyone about the information you tell them. It doesn’t matter how big or small your problem is, they will find a way to help.
- Kids’ Helpline – 1800 55 1800 Headspace – 1800 650 890
Janine McKay – Student Wellbeing Leader