Virginia makes net safety part of curriculum

New guidelines guard against online predators and help schools make net safety instruction a regular part of the school day.

Virginia has issued new guidelines for schools regarding the dangers of students being online, reports the The Roanoke Times

The Virginia Department of Education has published new guidelines, which are meant to help students and parents protect themselves against online predators and other computer threats, and to assist public schools in folding Internet safety instruction into the curriculum.

"We're really happy to have this in place," said Lan Neugent, the state assistant superintendent for technology. "We think that it's a great step forward."

The report contains Web-based links to sources covering topics such as filtering, instant messaging and identity theft.

"I don't think my 7-year-old knows more about the Internet than I do, but I know my 11-year-old does," Fralin said at a press conference with Attorney General Bob McDonnell and other state officials.

Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown, whose department has been a national leader in investigating Internet crimes, said schools can play a major role in helping students and parents understand computer safety.

"You don't have to scare them to death, but you do need to teach them about Internet safety," Brown said. "The Internet is the greatest communications medium we will ever see, but it's got a dark side and it's getting darker."

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