Johnstown School District Helping Parents Realize the
Dangers of Blogging and Unsupervised Internet Use
In the past, children used to keep their deepest
thoughts and secrets in diaries under lock and key —
times have changed.
What is blogging?
Blogging is a free, online journal where a user can
create their own page(s) for posting messages,
information, photographs, etc. These sites are called
Web logs, or “blogs,” and often have features allowing
the users to communicate with other people over the
Blogging has become extremely popular among junior high
and high school students — and even among elementary
children. Students not only use these Web sites as ways
to communicate with their friends, but they also
communicate with people from other schools, towns and
states who they may or may not know. Students may be
posting pictures of themselves and their friends, as
well as their full names, their cell phone numbers and
even their addresses.
When a student creates a blog, he or she must create a
profile, and to do so the student must indicate that he
or she is over a certain age, ranging from 14 to 18.
However, there is no verification process and anyone can
enter an age of their choosing. This means a 12-year old
could create a profile saying they’re 17, and a 45-year
old could say they’re 14.
Do you know what your child does on the Internet?
On any given day, your child comes home from school,
gets an afternoon snack and heads right for the
computer. It seems harmless — they are probably
Instant-Messaging their friends, or maybe playing
But, as a parent, do you know what Web sites your child
visits on a regular basis? Are you sure they are only
chatting online with their friends from school? Do you
think they would ever give out their personal
information, such as their last name or even their
While you may think children would never put themselves
in harm's way using the Internet, many are posting this
personal information on the Web — in the form of blogs —
and/or engaging in inappropriate online chat.
What can I do to make sure my child is safe on the
While taking the computer away from your child might
seem like the obvious thing to do, it is probably not
the best solution. Talk to your child and find out what
he or she uses the Internet for and what Web sites he or
she likes to visit. If your child is not willing to
share this information with you, take matters into your
own hands and find out for yourself. Parents cannot be
afraid that they are infringing on their child’s
privacy. Make sure your child is not posting any
personal information online, including their last name.
Also, reach out to the parents of your child’s friends
and make sure the friends are not posting photos or
comments that involve your child.
If you would like the names of popular blogs and other
online chat sites, please contact your child’s building
For more Internet safety tips, check out the
following Web sites:
read news articles about blogs, click on the following
(top of page)