Parenting in the digital age: Hilliard parents get lesson in online safety

HILLIARD, OH (WCMH) – Hilliard City Schools is taking steps to teach parents how to keep their students safe in the digital age.

A group of parents and students gathered at Weaver Middle School, located at 4600 Avery Road, for a special workshop that focused online safety.

The workshop is one of three the school district is conducting in preparation for its “One to One Initiative,” a district-wide program that will put Ipads in the hands of every student.

“We heard a lot of concerns from our parents that they want to keep their child as safe as possible,” said Kathy Parker-Jones,  District Technology Integration Coach for Hilliard City Schools. “It’s helping them understand all the parental controls that they can do. But, as well as, just some of the basics that parents can do like talking to their child and looking at what their child is doing on their Ipad or phone.”

Carrier Domer, a mother of three Hilliard students, worries about what her kids encounter online.

“As smart as they think they are, they’re not,” said Domer. “And that’s why, as a parent, I need to step in and take control of their devices when needed, take a look at them and see what’s going on.”

Students and parents were split into two groups. While students learned how to spot bullying online, parents learned how kids share pictures and videos.

Elizabeth Gillett, an eighth grader at Memorial Middle School, said she and her friends do their best to stay positive when chatting and posting online.

“My friends and I, we talk about appropriate things like what’s going on in school. Or like, my band friends and I will talk about band,” said Elizabeth, an aspiring trombone player.

Workshops addressing online safety come are important and young students establish an online reputation. A reputation that must be protected at all times.

“This has to be a conversation you have with your child on an ongoing basis,” said Parker-Jones. “The internet and the apps that are out there are changing all the time.”

Last week, parents and students learned the legal and emotional issues that can arise from inappropriate online behavior.

The workshops are being held all year in the middle schools, with the high schools to follow next year.

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