City schools to host Internet safety lecture
by Daniel Gaddy
Mar 05, 2011 | 1846 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jasper City Schools officials will be hosting an Internet safety seminar for parents on Tuesday.

Elliott Harris, director of auxiliary services for the district, said the program will focus on providing parents with the tools to log into and monitor their children’s social networking web pages like Facebook or Twitter.

“There’s a lot of conversation going on about the dangers of social networking and parents are not as up to snuff as kids,” Harris said.

Harris said the seminar will “arm parents with the information” needed to keep their children safe.

The speakers include Susan Chandler, coordinator of technology for the city schools, and Walker County Sheriff’s Office investigator Sgt. Tim Thomas, who specializes in computer forensics.

“With those two, I think they’ll bring a wealth of information and knowledge to the program,” Harris said.

Thomas said his presentation will also cover sexting or sexual communication through cell phone text messages.

Thomas said many parents think sexting is harmless, but many instances have resulted in charges of child pornography. He said he will provide parents some of the indicators that their kids might be texting inappropriate material.

The program is part of the Community Education project or Community Ed, an extension of the school district’s federally-funded after-school enrichment program, the 21st Century Learning Center.

Housed at Maddox Middle School, the 21st Century Learning Center provides more than 50 kindergarten through eighth-grade students in the district with tutoring services and educational activities. The program was recently recognized by the state Department of Public Health’s newsletter for efforts to teach students healthy lifestyles.

The 21st Century Learning Center was established two years ago, while the Community Education project started this school year.

Harris said the program focuses on informing parents about child literacy, finances and life skills. He said Community Ed officials hope to have each school host a seminar or program this year.

The Internet safety seminar will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the theater of Maddox Middle School. For more information about the lecture or Community Ed, contact the Jasper City Schools at 205-384-6880.