North Carolina Attorney General Promotes Internet Safety at Northern Elementary

North Carolina Attorney General Promotes Internet Safety at Northern Elementary

GREENSBORO — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein visited the North Elementary School on Thursday to promote new “family technology agreements” his office has developed to protect children using the Internet.

Stein spoke to the school’s fifth graders, bringing cards with four rules to consider when online. These rules are:

• Do not talk to strangers online.

• Be careful about information shared online.

• Talk to parents about things they see online that scare them.

• Find a balance between online and offline.

There is room at the bottom of the cards for child and parent signatures, and a longer version of the agreement can be found on the Attorney General’s website.

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“We know young people are spending more and more time online,” Stein, a Democrat, told students in the North. “Whatever you do, I want to make sure you do it in a way where you are safe. The internet, like anywhere, can sometimes be a dangerous place and I want you to be protected.”

Stein pointed out that while kids sometimes assume it’s safe to play games with other kids on the Internet, they may actually be adults pretending to be kids.

He encouraged fifth-grade students to talk with their families about internet safety and how they will tackle the issue.

One student said she had heard messages about internet safety before at school, but this time it meant more because it came from someone like Stein.

“It was different because he’s someone very close to the governor,” said fifth-grader Peyton Medley.

North Elementary Principal Robert Richmond said he thinks many parents are already monitoring their child’s internet usage and he thinks students likely appreciate Stein’s message.

“We’re not telling you at all not to have cell phones. We’re just telling you to be careful and smart,” Richmond said.

Stein said Northern was his second stop in a series of visits to major areas of the state to promote the new family tech deals. Stein said child safety on the internet has long been a top priority for her office. This includes helping to draft the SAFE Child Act of 2019, which, among other things, prohibits high-risk sex offenders from contacting anyone under the age of 16 using social media or social networking sites.

He said the idea for the family tech deals came from one of his staff.

“Unfortunately, there are cases where adults lure children and then abuse them, and that was kind of the starting point,” he said. “But there are so many other things online that can affect a child, whether it’s being bullied or posting something a child later regrets, and we want young people to have the tools they need to use the internet in a safe and healthy way.”

Contact Jessie Pounds at 336-373-7002 and follow @JessiePounds on Twitter.​

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