Meeting to offer parents tips for monitoring Net use

Neighbors

February 01, 1999|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

AS MUCH AS the Internet has opened a world of valuable research to our children, it also has a dangerous side that the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland wants parents to be aware of.

Any parent who wants to know more about what their children see, how they can protect them, and what the government is doing to address the increasing number of people who prey upon children through the Internet, is invited to attend a presentation by representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice tomorrow night at East Middle School.

The presentation, which begins at 7 p.m. in the school's gym, will feature 20 tips for monitoring children on the Internet.

"These are easy tips that parents can use right away," said Marcy Murphy, assistant to U.S. attorney Lynne A. Battaglia. "You don't have to be a computer geek to understand and use the advice.

"We have found that quick tips, like put the computer in a high traffic location, and monitor your long-distance and modem bills for unfamiliar numbers, make the Internet safer," said Murphy. "Parents have got to get more actively involved and eventually become more computer literate."

Tomorrow's presentation is intended only for parents because "there will probably be information discussed that is not appropriate for children of any age," said Laurie Walters, media specialist at East Middle School.

Two teams from Battaglia's office have gone out twice a week to middle schools since October to give these presentations.

"In our prosecutions, more often it is middle-school children who are the victims of crimes involving the Internet. That is why we are targeting middle school parents first," Murphy said. "We hope to take a presentation into the elementary school one day."

Information: 410-751-3660.

High school meeting

Citizens for Schools has billed a meeting with the county commissioners tomorrow as the "one big shot" parents have to convince the board of the need for a second high school in Westminster.

Citizens for Schools is a grass-roots organization of about 250 parents who, since early January, have pulled together a focused campaign for that school.

During an informal meeting last week, co-chairs Vicki Anzmann and Susan Ullrich outlined the agenda for the meeting and encouraged parents to "bring other parents, bring comments, just help us pack the house and show the commissioners that Westminster students need and deserve the second school that has been promised for years."

Students, teachers, business leaders and Westminster Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan are also scheduled to give formal presentations. Comments and questions are welcome.

The meeting begins at 7: 30 p.m. at the County Office Building, 225 N. Center St., Room 003 (in the back annex). Information: 410-876-6847.

Logo winners

When the Carroll County Heritage Foundation asked local high school students to design its logo, 51 students submitted entries that illustrated the foundation's purpose: to "extend, preserve, and promote the heritage of Carroll County for our youth," said Kris Kelly, executive assistant.

Jennifer Moore, a South Carroll High senior and the daughter of Jim and Sandy Moore, won first place for her logo, which portrayed the American flag and a black-eyed Susan held in a cupped hand.

Six students earned $50 and were recognized at a recent banquet. Those students are Rachel Lindsay, Justin Porter and Becky Staub, Westminster High School; Vinny DeFrancesco and Tracey McElroy, South Carroll High School; and Steve Campbell, Liberty High School.

"All the entries were terrific," said Kelly. "It was difficult to select a winner when all the entries were outstanding."

Judges included William J. McKenna, the foundation's executive director; Kris Kelly, executive assistant; Sandy Oxx, Carroll County Arts Council; Janet Caldwell, The Sun; Jay Graybeal, Carroll County Historical Society; and Carolyn Scott, former Carroll County School Board member.

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 2/01/99

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