Cobb County Schools has forged a federal partnership to keep students safe online as they surf the Internet and text message friends.
The district has joined the Federal Trade Commission in a national campaign designed to help parents educate their children about social networking etiquette and Internet safety.
Cobb Schools is distributing the FTC’s new “Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online” guide to parents this month. It is the first district to receive the new guide and share it with families, school officials said.
“Equipping our families with the information they need to help keep students safe online is a major priority for us,” Jeff Inman, coordinator of Cobb Schools' Prevention/Intervention Center, said in a statement. “Teaming with the FTC to provide the Net Cetera booklet to parents is an unprecedented step in helping them start the dialogue with their children.”
“Net Cetera” advises parents to monitor their children’s cyber steps on their cellphone and the family computer. It also gives parents tips on how to begin the safety talk:
- Start early.
- Create an open and honest environment for discussion.
- Use everyday opportunities as teaching moments about cyber safety.
- Communicate family values and repeat your expectations to your kids.
Cobb Schools' partnership with the FTC is one of several initiatives of the district's Prevention/Intervention Center. In 2008, Cobb Schools officials launched the Cobb Cyber Safe program to prevent cyber bullying and encourage online safety. More than 100 staff members have been certified as Internet safety instructors, including school counselors. Safety instructors lead seminars about navigating new technology safely.
For more information on Net Cetera visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov. Information on Cobb's Prevention/Intervention Center is available at http://www.cobbk12.org/centraloffice/preventionintervention.
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