Cybersafety is a growing concern amongst parents and educators alike. Students need to be empowered with the ability to make decisions that will not impair others or themselves. Recent events in the media and on the internet have highlighted the dangers of social media technology when placed in the hands of children too young or not socially aware enough to control the situation.
This is the fourth year of a proactive approach to promoting Cybersafety amongst our College community. This year, a whole school approach on Social Networking and CyberBullying will help our students to take control of their Cyber Lifestyles and use digital tools in positive and life-affirming ways.
A recent article on Ninemsn describes how authorities in South Australia are moving to clamp down on CyberBullying after the recent internet posting of a bullying incident. The article quotes South Australia’s Attorney General John Rau proposing new laws to prosecute anyone who posts “humiliating or demeaning content of another person without their permission”.
On the same page, there is a report that Facebook is currently removing 20 000 users a day from its website because they are underage. Informal surveys of our students have indicated that there is a large number of students at CAC who are in fact underage Facebook users. For those who are unsure, the minimum age to qualify for a Facebook account is 13 years of age. Some would argue that even this age is too young.
Of course, children will want to use Facebook because they see their parents, friends and famous people using Facebook. It is currently cool. In the past, some students as young as Prep age have indicated that their parents have set up Facebook accounts for them. The position of the College is that we endorse the 13 years of age limit for a Facebook account and we also encourage parents to do the same. Age limits are set for very significant reasons. Ultimately it is the parents’ responsibility to manage their children’s online activities. Access to social networking sites is unavailable to students on Coomera Anglican College computers.