Parents warned as children share porn sites

By Samantha McPherson of Western News -
Child psychologist Cherin Selim said children didn't have the ability to understand what they were viewing and early exposure to sexual material was a risk. Photo / Thinkstock
Child psychologist Cherin Selim said children didn't have the ability to understand what they were viewing and early exposure to sexual material was a risk. Photo / Thinkstock

Parents at a Christchurch primary school have been warned to keep a close eye on their children after they were found accessing internet porn sites at home and sharing website addresses with their friends at school.

Kendal School principal Keith Turner was alerted to the problem last week by parents who said their child had been told and given website addresses for inappropriate sites by another child at school.

"The parents had found out and thought they should let us know. They weren't accessed at school but they were told about them. I did a check of our system logs and could find no unauthorised or inappropriate use at school. It appears the children concerned were getting the site information at home and passing it on to other children to access from home."

A letter sent home to parents at Kendal School last week, outlined ways for parents to monitor their children while accessing the internet at home.

"From time to time parents contact the school about concerns they have about what their child has seen or heard on the internet. This is often from sites passed on to them by other children or sites they have stumbled across themselves. We have only had one report but thought it would be wise to send home some information to parents about internet safety," he said.

Mr Turner said access to the internet at school is only allowed when a staff member is present.

"When a web address is entered it's checked by a server and then by an internet filtering company to make sure it's not on any black list of inappropriate sites. This system works well and appears to stop children being exposed to inappropriate material," he said.

Child psychologist Cherin Selim said children didn't have the ability to understand what they were viewing and early exposure to sexual material was a risk.

"All parents can do is monitor the time their children spend on the computer and have it in a communal area where they can see what is being viewed. Make sure inappropriate sites are blocked and have regular talks with children about sexual behaviour and give them realistic advice as they get older," she said.

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