Keeping Our Kids Safe Online

 A Letter from BART's Director         

 Recently, we have seen or heard about a number of incidents in which students are using technology – e.g., social media, texting on cell phones and iPods – in inappropriate ways that are hurtful to themselves and/or others.  This issue is not unique to BART or the Berkshires; this is an issue that continues to arise across the nation as children learn to use technology appropriately. More...

 Online Resources               
Vetted resources for parents. Click here.

 Mr. Henkel's Cyber-Smart 5 : 
 A Smart Kid's Guide to the Internet    
1. The Internet is public and forever. 
2. The Internet is lawless. 
3. Make yourself a hard target. 
4. Report and support. 
5. Partner with the adults in your life. 

 What Students Learn                 
All students at BART take a Collegiate Skills course that includes a Unit on Online Safety and Responsibility. You can view these lessons here.
                About this Site  
When I was a kid, my mom would shove all 5 of us out the door on Summer mornings with the instruction "Go play. Don't come back until lunchtime." We lived in a small town where no one locked their doors. There was a hayfield behind us and a woods across the street. It was a safe place, and even if we got into trouble, the neighbors all knew each other and I had friends and siblings looking out for me.

Sadly, the world isn't like that anymore. None of us would think of leaving our kids unsupervised all morning. Yet we frequently allow our children to play unsupervised in a far more dangerous neighborhood - the Internet.

Picture the most dangerous neighborhood you can imagine. There are probably drug dealers, gangs, predators, thieves, liars, and cheats. It's not a safe place. We wouldn't think of letting our children even walk through unsupervised, let alone play there for hours at a time.

Now imagine your child having to pass through that neighborhood to get to school. It's unavoidable. Even if we could drive our kids through the neighborhood, it's still RIGHT THERE. All the time. Enticing your kids to wander through. Curious or devious, adolescents sometimes wander into places they should not go.

This dangerous neighborhood is the Internet.
The Internet is a wonderful resource that can enrich everyone's lives. Kids SHOULD use it to learn, expand their world, and communicate with their community - but it is dangerous, and no child should be left unsupervised in this dangerous place. 

This website is devoted to helping anyone who cares about kids keep them safe in this wondrous, tantalizing, beneficial, but extremely dangerous neighborhood.

Mr. J.P. Henkel
Director of Technology
BART Charter Public School