Roundtable "Safer Internet at Schools" - February 3
February 13, 2012 3:53 PM
Safe Runet Week - 2012 in Moscow was continued on February 3 by Expert Roundtable "Safer Internet at Schools" which was organized by “Syostri”Center and by Safer Internet Center.
The participants of the Roundtable were Maria Mokhova, CEO of “Syostri”, Marina Guryanova, Psychologist of the Women center “Nadezhda” (ru. - Hope), Alexey Trepikhalin, Counselor of Law department of the US Ministry of Justice in Russia, Alexey Leonov, Development Director of Safer Internet Center, representatives of Moscow and regional NGOs. The Roundtable was held in the Sakharov Centre in Moscow.
The panel was concerned around the problems of child Internet safety and providing online safety tools at Russian schools. Besides, the participants were discussing the gaps in actual Russian legislation and necessity of providing educational programs for teachers and educators.
Maria Mokhova, speaking about the necessity of developing online safety measures at school, mentioned her own experience in this field. “I’ve been to schools where special safer internet programs are implemented. As for mobile safety, some school administrations use technical devices which blanket cell phone signal so that pupils can’t access the web during their lessons. It means that pupils can’t get any wrong content while they are at school”.
Alexey Trepikhalin was speaking about the new law, adopted by the State Duma, which strengthens penalties for possession of child pornography and enhances parents’ responsibility for their kids. Also he presented the participants the US experience in combating sexual predators online. “There is a special alert system in the USA, if a pedophile is settling in the neighborhood. A special database (which in free for everyone in the web) allows every US citizen to find out if a criminal, who had a penalty for sexual abuse of a child, has settled nearby. This makes parents more informed about their children’s safety”. At the same time, Russian participants noticed that such a system may violate human rights regarding the right to privacy.
Marina Guryanova confirmed the necessity of combating internet-crimes but added that “it can’t be the only action, in this case we have to speak about the family as a morality basis for kids. Family is the only social institution where kids can learn what is good and what is bad”.
Alexey Leonov introduced main projects of Safer Internet Center and presented official statistics of Centre’s Hotline. Also he added that “besides installing protective software at schools, it is needed to provide school teachers and other educatorss with information about the rules of kids’ behavior in the web, so that teaches could be able to assist and help their pupils to surf in the Internet”.
Then followed the discussion which was mostly centered about such issues as possible violation of some human rights by overprotective methods, information for raising awareness of teachers and parents, including families in school online safety systems by promoting introduction of family online safety rules and use of protective software at homes. The role of school psychologists as “first aid” providers in cases of abuse and cyberbullying was also discussed.