Internet safety program offered to parents

The City of St. Marys Police Department and Dickinson Children's Prevention Services recently teamed up to host an internet safety program entitled "Protecting Kids Online." The presentation took place Wednesday evening in the Elk County Catholic High School auditorium.Police Chief Todd Caltagarone and Officer David Marconi were joined by Dickinson staff members Jill Struble and Shelley Meier as presenters for the program. Together they provided essential information about internet safety, cyber bullying, online stalking and harassment, digital technology, protecting privacy, child pornography and sexting as well as the emotional, ethical, psychological and legal consequences of such issues. "The message we want to deliver to you is just open up the dialogue with your kids, get involved, build that trust and relationship so when things happen online they can come to you, tell you, talk to you about it," Caltagarone said. "There's some rules to follow, things to do in order to stay safe."He added that this program is presented to students throughout the district at age-appropriate levels in elementary, middle and high schools. With younger students, they discuss the I M Safe Online program and with older students, they focus on online predators, criminal activities that can occur online and consequences of that. The adult program goes more into detail about all of the above.The PowerPoint portion of the presentation was prepared by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and addressed such topics as detailed information on digital technology, including definitions of and explanations about peer-to-peer software, spyware, viruses, spam, text lingo, blogs and webcams.