The school division’s Parent Connection invited Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle to speak to parents about a growing concern in many families – internet and social media safety. In the evening session Dec. 11, Stolle said that children’s online experiences should be safe and educational and that parents, guardians and other responsible adults can help ensure that happens.
Stolle encouraged parents to set rules and communicate with their children about the use of technology, noting the personal, social and legal consequences of online activity. “When someone posts a photo online,” he cautioned, “you can never get it back. It is out there forever.” He also noted that parents need to strive to be as technologically savvy as their children in order to properly monitor usage of the Internet and social media.
Attendees to the free Parent Connection workshop received copies of the computer software monitoring tool Computer Cop and the pamphlet “12 Ways to Manage Your Child’s Screen Time.” The Office of the Commonwealth Attorney is able to provide the Computer Cop software at no charge to families because copies are purchased by the office using money seized from drug dealers. The software includes safety tips for online activities, cell phone monitoring capabilities, an Internet Safety Pledge for children and links to FBI and police resources.
Parent Connection hosts free workshops for VBCPS parents and families throughout the year. Upcoming sessions in January include Parent Connection Technology Academy: Putting the “Power” in PowerPoint (Jan. 21) and Money Matters for Single Parent Families (Jan. 27). For times and locations of these workshops and other Parent Connection events, visit the Parent Connection calendar on the school division’s website or call the Office of Community Engagement at 263-1936.