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Students at Reed Intermediate School and Newtown Middle School learned about internet safety during presentations on October 13 by Scott Driscoll of Internet Safety Concepts, based out of South Windsor.
Mr Driscoll was also set to share a presentation with district parents on October 19, after this edition of The Newtown Bee went to press.
At the first presentation on October 13, Reed Intermediate School Assistant Principal Jill Bontatibus-Beaudry welcomed students and shared that it was the first assembly fifth graders would attend at the school.
“He’s here today to speak with us about internet safety,” said Ms Bontatibus-Beaudry.
Mr Driscoll is a former youth officer, and he also worked to investigate internet crime. He created his company, Internet Safety Concepts, to educate parents and students about the ways to be safe while using the internet.
His former work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Mr Driscoll told Reed students, had him pretend to be a 13-year-old girl online to find bad people who want to hurt others.
“I think we forget what we connect to: we connect to the world,” said Mr Driscoll, explaining that people are quick to share information before thinking about who the information could be reaching.
Mr Driscoll adjusts his presentations for different ages. With the Reed students he spoke about the age restrictions on most social media programs, and he spoke about the importance of the children speaking with their parents.
When he asked the students why there are rules in life — like age restrictions — the students said rules keep people safe, they keep people out of trouble, and they keep people “moving in the right direction.”
Mr Driscoll spoke about sharing pictures to the internet, shared stories about people who faced consequences from sharing too much on the internet, and spoke to the importance guarding personal information.
“If we can’t show our parents what we are doing online, we probably shouldn’t be sharing it,” said Mr Driscoll.
The Reed and the NMS PTAs hosted the presentations.
More information about Mr Driscoll and Internet Safety Concepts is available at internetsafetyconcepts.com.