All public K-12 schools in Virginia will be required to teach their students about Internet safety, starting in the fall.
Under legislation signed into law this month, the Virginia Department of Education must issue guidelines to schools by July for integrating Internet-safety programs into their regular instruction. The requirement is an amendment to the state’s 1999 policy on acceptable Internet use for public and private schools.
State Delegate William H. Fralin, a Republican who is the author of this year’s bill, said he was acting out of concern that some parents might not have the skills to teach their children about safe behavior on the Internet.
“I don’t know enough about the Internet to prevent my kids from getting into trouble,” he said.
Younger students especially, he said, could benefit from learning about online privacy and safety. “A lot of 10-year-old kids know more about computers than I do,” he noted.