Freshmen are required by law to hear an Internet safety talk given by librarians during library orientation this year because of the district’s installation of Wi-Fi service.
The talk covers basic web safety, such as the danger of posting private and secure information on certain sites, and dips into topics such as colleges viewing your personal social networking pages. High school librarian Patricia Lawrence said she was surprised that many students seemed shocked that they should not post their Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or even open hazardous looking e-mails.
The presentation was familiar to freshman Lauren Waller, who was at the middle school last year. “I’ve heard the talk many times,” she said. Waller thinks the safety talk should only be given to students new to the Shaker schools. Federal law requires the all high schools have an Internet safety program if they have a Bring Your Own Device program. The law mandates both the safety talk and usage monitoring.
The Federal Communications Commission website states “The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet.”
Principal Michael Griffith said he believes the safety message is needed at the high school. “As adults we aren’t as tech-savvy as students are. It’s been easy to say ‘put it away’ and bury our heads in the sand,” he said. “The talk was not only for students but also for administration.”
“In order to understand how to deal with the new tech students are bringing in, we need to understand how to use them ourselves.” Griffith said. Griffith said that the law is not new, but is now being enforced in the high school because of the new Wi-Fi policy. If the talks were not given, students would not legally be able to use their own devices in school.
Griffith said he has not seen many personal devices circulating the school yet, but he hopes to see the use of personal devices for educational purposes.
A version of this article appeared in print on 3 October 2012 on page 2 of The Shakerite.