State of Virginia to Require Internet Safety Classes in Public Schools
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Concerned about the general increase in online crime, cyber-bullying, and sex offenders preying on underaged children, the state of Virginia has become the first to mandate that public schools offer Internet safety classes to all grade levels.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, distributor of NetSmartz resources to enhance the online safety of children, cites a report that showed 1 in 25 children received an aggressive solicitation from a predator to meet offline. Social networking sites, email, and in particular chatrooms and instant messaging have all been used by those with evil intent to introduce themselves to children, and to groom them for later attacks.


You can never know if an online contact from a “15 year old girl, social and friendly, wanting to meet new people” is indeed from a 15 year old girl, from a 40 year old online predator with a long history of sexual offences behind them, or from an FBI agent trying to track someone down. Parents want their children to be prepared for a safe and productive online life in the same way that they want their children to be safe offline, and to this end there is much that parents – in partnership with schools, after-school clubs and the local community – can do. It is perhaps inevitable that given the role of the Internet in our everyday life, programs similar to this one will be increasingly rolled out across the United States; until they are, we recommend parents review the NetSmartz resources for parents and guardians, and initiate an age-appropriate discussion with their children, linking online behaviors with what they’re being told to do offline.

Of course, we don’t advocate letting young children on the Internet at all, let alone unsupervised.

On the other hand, educating children on safe Internet usage at an early age makes it less likely they’ll be taken in by phishing, 419s or other Internet scams and frauds when they’re adults.

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Well, we can all hope so, can’t we?

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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One thought on “State of Virginia to Require Internet Safety Classes in Public Schools
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  1. I think this is a great initiative which will hopefully be applied in all states – heck even around the world! Education is key in every aspect of life, therefore equipping children from a young age with the necessary knowledge, they will become aware of the existing threats and recognize them should they face them in the future.

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