Federal Prosecutors Stress Importance of Internet Safety
WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA – A group of more than 100 parents, guardians and teachers recently gathered at Daniel Morgan Middle School for an Internet safety training class led by United States Attorney Timothy Heaphy and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant United States Attorney Nancy Healey.
The two veteran prosecutors discussed a variety of topics with the gathered audience, including how to keep kids safe online, the importance of monitoring a child’s online activity and steps parents can take to prevent their children from becoming victims of online exploitation. They also discussed the problems of cyber-bullying and sexting.
The session, hosted by the City of Winchester school system, was one of a series of discussions by the United States Attorney’s Office aimed at informing parents and educators about the dangers that children encounter online.
“One in seven children has received a sexual solicitation via the internet,” AUSA Nancy Healey pointed out during the discussion. “You must keep an open line of communication with your child and check into his or her online use, but don’t look over their shoulder constantly. There has to be some type of balance.”
U.S. Attorney Heaphy stressed the fact that despite the relatively safe communities of the Western District, parents still need to be vigilant in protecting their children online.
“You may live in a beautiful, idyllic town like Winchester, but your son or daughter’s computer doors are opening all around the world,” U.S. Attorney Heaphy warned the group. “It’s important for you all as parents and educators to pay attention to that process.”
The U.S. Attorney also praised the city of Winchester for being proactive in welcoming federal prosecutors to the school district to discuss such an important topic as internet safety.
Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney Heaphy announced the start of a series of training sessions aimed at educating parents, teachers, school administrators and community leaders on the dangers children face online and preventative steps that can be taken to protect children from internet predators.
“The information being presented at these sessions will provide parents and teachers with information that will help them keep children safe as they use the internet,” U.S. Attorney Heaphy said. “We encourage any group which seeks similar information on internet safety to contact our office and schedule a meeting.”
If your school, community organization or other group would like to host a training session, please contact Community Outreach Coordinator Gwen Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org.