Internet safety serious business at St Peter’s School

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The whole school community - students, staff and parents - participated in internet safety workshops at St Peter's, Sunshine West today.8 February 2021

Principal Karen Bergin of St Peter’s School, Sunshine South West, says while the internet is a powerful tool to help students and families learn and connect, it is also fraught with risks to safety and wellbeing.

‘The benefits of connecting and learning online have been brought into even sharper focus over the past year as children and families have operated online more than ever’, she said.

‘We have all heard of the risks associated with things like cyberbullying and inappropriate web content, but with the online landscape changing so quickly, how many of us really know how to address and manage these issues in a practical sense?

‘At St Peter’s, we take our responsibility to support and educate our students, families and staff about appropriate and constructive internet use very seriously’, Ms Bergin said.

Parent Anna Nguyen, who has three children at St Peter’s: Jayden (Year 6), Nathan (Year 5) and Ava (Year 1), says cyber safety is a significant concern for her.

‘My children are constantly wanting to be on the internet and because of the lockdown they have become accustomed to using it even more’, she said.

‘My biggest concern is that they are safe when online.

‘I would say our kids know more about the internet than we think they do. My daughter, who is only five, told me she had seen a clip of a TikTok challenge.

‘I didn’t even know what TikTok was until I came across a news story about a child dying as a result of one of these challenges. I was shocked to know there was something as potentially dangerous as this that any child could access.

‘I’m very pleased that St Peter’s places such importance on internet safety and I’m looking forward to both my children and me learning more next Tuesday.

‘I also think the sessions will be particularly helpful for new parents to help understand some of the important things like managing screen time and having the kids where you can see them when they are online’, Anna said.

On Safer Internet Day, Tuesday 9 February, the St Peter’s school community – students, parents and staff – will participate in workshops about being safer online and addressing key issues such as cyberbullying, balancing screen time, unsafe apps and social media, as well as current trends in child/teen online behaviour.