Parents' net lessons

PARENTS of schoolchildren are to go back to the classroom to be taught about the dangers of the internet. Clevedon police community support officer

PARENTS of schoolchildren are to go back to the classroom to be taught about the dangers of the internet.Clevedon police community support officer Linda Richards is to hold a series of special parents evenings at the town's community school in a bid to educate mums and dads on the risks posed to their children while surfing the web.The adult classes come as part of an e-safety drive being run at the school by PCSO Richards in conjunction with the Child Exploitation Online Protection Service (CEOPS).So far PCSO Richards has held sessions with more than 1,000 students on the dangers of the internet, how to use it safety and where to go to report concerns or inappropriate behaviour.Now parents will be given the same presentation and information so they can police the use of the web at home.PCSO Richards said: "The presentation covers how young people can use the internet safely and teaches them of the dangers to be aware of."It also teaches them how to stay in control on line and also where to go to report something they may feel uneasy about."These days the teenagers are generally far more computer literate than the adults and that is why I wanted to organise these classes."The parents also need to be aware of the dangers the internet poses and be taught how to prevent problems from occurring."PCSO Richards said following the school sessions, students had told her of a number of incidents - with one girl even admitting to meeting someone she had met online.She added: "A lot of the children these days have their own websites which feature pictures of themselves."Often they also have lots of personal details about themselves, which could be exploited by a paedophile."We want young people to have fun using the internet, but to do it safely without putting themselves at risk."It is hoped to run the adult internet safety classes later this Spring and plans are also afoot to train the school's youth watch group to deliver the web safety message in local junior schools.Anyone with concerns about suspect internet use should log onto the CEOPS Think U Know website.

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