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Help Students Be Safe Online

Dear Central Bucks Family,

A disturbing online threat called “The Momo Challenge” came to the attention of school administrators across the country last year, and since that time, warnings and recommendations have been shared by news outlets and school districts alike. More recently, there were reports that these “challenge” videos had made their way into popular children’s videos on YouTube – and then, just this week, news media began reporting that the threat was a viral hoax, spread far and wide by well-meaning authorities and concerned citizens.

While the truth may lie somewhere in between, one thing is certainly true, online activities can expose children to potentially dangerous content, bad actors, and other risks. However, when armed with skills and age-appropriate supervision, children can also have fun, learn a great deal, and successfully navigate the digital world. The internet is not going away, and it is incumbent upon us as educators, parents, and guardians to help children become savvy, educated users.

While we work hard to incorporate these lessons into our curriculum across the grade levels, the most successful outcomes occur when we partner with all of you. To that end, we encourage families to take part in special events including our Parent Positive presentations funded through CB Cares, and programs offered through our partnership with the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA). On Thursday, March 14, a timely NOVA session entitled, “Bridging the Gap, iSmart Parenting,” will be presented at Jamison Elementary School beginning at 6:30 p.m. Download an informational flyer here.

The Federal Government provides assistance through the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Consumer division. The FTC’s “On Guard Online” program includes a wealth of online security information, including the “Net Cetera Toolkit” for families, offering advice, resources, and practical tips for keeping kids safe online. We also recommend the information and resources available at www.commonsensemedia.org, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. 

Together, we can ensure that our students – your children – are ready to take on these challenges and more, as happy, healthy adults.

Stay Well,

john kopicki signature

John J. Kopicki, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools