Cyber safety in schools

Principal at Young North Public School Kel Smerdon and Member for Riverina Michael McCormack have welcomed the expansion of cyber safety training for children at local schools.

WELCOME TO CYBER SCHOOL: Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has welcomed the new expansion to cyber safety in local schools.

WELCOME TO CYBER SCHOOL: Member for Riverina Michael McCormack has welcomed the new expansion to cyber safety in local schools.

NSW Police in Sydney revealed in a report last Tuesday the shocking trend of incidents that included children as young as four producing sexually explicit material online.

Kindergarten-aged children at schools across the region will now receive cyber safety training under the expanded ThinkUKnow program which was launched recently.

“Children are already exposed to a variety of technologies from a very young age,” Young North Public School Principal Kel Smerdon said. “The ThinkU Know program appears to be a well developed, evidenced informed and extensively trialled program that will support parents, students and teachers in ensuring children understand what they say, see and do online comes with rights and responsibilities.”

A Kindergarten to Year Two presentation has been introduced this year in response to younger children accessing technology, and law enforcement seeing incidents involving younger victims.

“21st Century learners need to be discerning and safe and school's have a responsibility to support students, parents and teachers in this area as all of our NSW syllabus documents all have technology embedded into them,” Mr Smerdon said.

Mr McCormack said it was important to protect those in the community who have access to the internet but may not understand its dangers.

“The ThinkUKnow program is free and it provides information to parents, carers, teachers and students on the technologies children use and the challenges associated with them and how to best overcome these challenges.”

ThinkUKnow is a unique partnership between law enforcement and industry.

The program is in its ninth year and is delivered by trained industry volunteers and law enforcement members according to the ThinkUKnow website.

NSW Police from the Hume Police District will deliver the program in local schools from Kindergarten to Year 12.

This year’s presentations focus on education around key trends such as self-produced child exploitation material, grooming of children through online apps and games, and for young children the importance of adult supervision.

The 2018 presentation package will be available in schools and organisations nationally from the end of March.

For further information and to download resources, please visit www.thinkuknow.org.au.