Decrease in On-line Sexual Solicitations of Teens

The Dallas Morning News recently ran a report entitled “Study Finds Decrease in Online Sexual Solicitations of Teens.”

According to the article, “Fewer youths are receiving sexual solicitations over the Internet as they become smarter about where they hang out and with whom they communicate online, researchers said Wednesday.”

Janis Wolak, one of the author’s of the study, is quoted as saying, “It may be signs people are paying (attention) to warnings they receive about online dangers. They are being more cautious about who they are interacting with online.”  If Ms. Wolak is accurate, then education about Internet safety is working which lends some optimism to those of us who feel students should be educated about Internet safety instead of simply blocked from sites some might characterize as risky.

Nancy Willard, an on-line safety expert, said, “The drop should demonstrate to parents and policymakers that ‘the dangers are real but they are not as significant as they have been hyped in recent months.'”

Obviously, there is still work to be done.  There are many students, parents and teachers who are uneducated about the Internet – its potential benefits and dangers.  So, I am enthused to read about educational institutions that are taking a leadership role in educating their students about the potential hazards of the Internet.  Hopefully K-12 school districts will begin to implement Internet safety training in their curriculum and staff  development as well.

I am happy to say that my school district is hosting an Internet safety session by ISafe  at the end of August for parents as well as student sessions at the various campuses in the district.  I am hoping it will at least get some dialogue started in the community about how to use the Internet appropriately and safely so we can teach our students how to navigate through all the resources available instead of simply trying to shelter them from potential dangers.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Dallasmorningnews, DOPA, Edtech News, Education, IISD, Internet Safety, News, Technology, web 2.0

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