Academy parents get ‘schooled’ on cyber safety

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Sophia Baldor, Features Editor

Section Editor Cara Millburg interviews Mrs. Debra Lubrano, Guidance Counselor and member of the Parents Education Committee, about the upcoming parent seminar.

Cara Millburg, Social Justice Editor

Academy parents gathered Thursday evening, September 29, to attend Academy’s cyber crime and cyber safety seminar. Hospitality began at 6 pm, followed by the presentation and questions and answers.

Organized by the Parent Education Committee, the seminar included a diverse panel of professionals, including Anna Cisneros Baralt, an AHN alumnus who works at Shorecrest Prep School and specializes in school technology expertise.

Also presenting was Dr. Peter Gorski, M.D., M.P.A. Director of Research and Innovation at the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.  A professor of Pediatrics, Public Health and Psychiatry at the University of South Florida and a practicing pediatrician specializing in developmental pediatrics, discussed the developmental appropriateness of technology and the psychological impact that can come from  inappropriate use of technology.

Master Sergeant Regan, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach Division, School Resource Section,  recounted problems caused by technology in our schools and with our children.

Rita Peters,  Division Chief of the State Attorney Office, focused on the practical consequences that can come from use of technology,  including the costs to parents legally and financially.

Detective Peggy Grow, Special Investigations Division, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office,  shared real stories of consequences resulting from users who unwittingly fall prey to legal issues related to technology.

Colleen Henderson, a member of the Parent Education Committee member, presented developmental appropriateness of technology and the psychological impact that can come from the  inappropriate use of technology.

“We wanted parents to learn about the issues and problems kids face in the cyber world. We also want to provide parents resources and educate them on today’s technology, ” said Mrs. Debra Lubrano, member of the Parents Education Committee.

Legal experts on the panel provided  information about  legal aspects of cyber crimes and vulnerability of young people to become involved in these crimes. The school technology expert offered  answers to the frequent question, “How do I prevent this from happening?”  She included specific resources that can help monitor and prevent cyber conflicts. The pediatric representatives helped parents understand the social and emotional effects that cyber harassment can have on a child.

Academy high school students will also be able to learn more about cyber crimes and safety on Monday, October 19, when a representative from the District Attorney’s office