See what your children see

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 11, 2010

VIDALIA — With the emergence of the Internet as a tool to help today’s children learn more has come the emergence of new problems parents all over the country are dealing with to protect children.

The Miss-Lou Regionalism Education Sub-Committee is sponsoring a lecture on Internet safety at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center with guest speaker Monica Ford from the Attorney General’s Office.

Chairperson of the regionalism education sub-committee Ruth Nichols said one of the goals of the lecture is to assist schools and families on what is good, and bad about the Internet.

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“Some things on the Internet may not be as good as you think,” she said. “Parents need to know how they can monitor their child’s activities online.”

Nichols said problems such as cyber bullying and online predators are topics they will discuss.

“Our schools have to face this obstacle every day,” she said. “Kids are connected to the Internet in ways that could be detrimental.”

Nichols said the seminar will inform parents and teachers of precautions they should take when allowing children to use the Internet.

“Hopefully this will send caution lights on things people need to be worried about or didn’t know was there,” she said.

Natchez Chamber of Commerce President and member of the regionalism education sub-committee Debbie Hudson said the lecture was put in place because of problems teachers have run into at school.

“Parents are not aware of what children can find on the Internet,” she said.

The relevance of the Internet’s role in children’s lives is one reason Hudson said area parents should get involved.

“This is a really important issue that will not go away,” she said. “And the only way to know about it is to be informed.”

Hudson said every school in the Miss-Lou is supporting the effort to inform area parents and teachers on Internet safety.

“Both public and private school principals are backing this up and have been putting up fliers about it,” she said.

Being aware that your child can face problems on the Internet is crucial, Nichols said.

“A lot of parents will say things like, ‘This can’t happen to my child, they are too young,’” she said. “We just assume all the things our kids are being exposed to are good things. (The lecture) will be an eye-opener for some.”