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House Passes Internet Safety Resolution

On July 9, the House passed, by voice vote, H. Res. 1260, a resolution supporting National Internet Safety Month. The Senate passed a similar resolution (S. Res. 567) on May 22 (see The Source, 5/23/08).

Sponsored by Rep. Melissa Bean (D-IL), the resolution contains a number of findings, including:

  • 93 percent of children between 12 and 17 years old use the Internet;
  • 43 percent of teens between 13 and 17 have experienced cyberbullying within the past year;
  • approximately 24 percent of students in grades five through twelve have hidden their online activities from their parents;
  • 61 percent of the students admit to using the Internet unsafely or inappropriately;
  • 65 percent of parents report that after their child has been on the Internet, they check to see what websites he or she viewed;
  • 47 percent of parents feel that their ability to monitor and shelter their children from inappropriate material on the Internet is limited; and
  • 61 percent of parents want to be more personally involved with Internet safety.Rep. Bean said, “Over the last few years, parents have been getting more involved in their children’s actions online, but there’s room for improvement. As noted in today’s resolution, 68 percent of parents have household rules about what type of Internet sites their children can or cannot visit, and 65 percent of parents review the websites their children have visited while on the Internet. But parents need to stay engaged and ask their children what they’re doing online. As a parent, you wouldn’t let your son or daughter play with a friend without knowing who was in charge and where they would be playing. The same should be the case with the Internet. It is a large virtual playground, and just like the stranger danger at the neighborhood park, kids need to be supervised.”
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