STAYING safe on the world wide web is the theme of a safety campaign.
Pupils from Lytham St Annes Technology College joined the debate on appropriate behaviour online as they learned how to protect themselves and others on the internet.
The school’s Safer Internet Day followed the national theme, Connect With Respect,
And head of ICT and business Lisa Fitzpatrick told The Gazette: “It was about teaching children virtual life does have real consequences.
“They can really relate it.”
The youngsters learned from activities centred on what they have a right to expect while online, and what their responsibilities are.
They also took part in quizzes on what words or phrases are appropriate or innapropriate to use online, learning about current court cases which have arisen from vile and inappropriate abuse on social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter.
Mrs Fitzpatrick added: “Our students encounter online situations which just wouldn’t have existed a couple of years ago and it’s important we help them develop the skills to deal with this.
“Given that some tweets have led to the prospect of legal action, pupils need to think carefully about posts.”
The activities also focused on children’s personal safety online.
Staff at the school on Worsley Road said there had been incidents of youngsters befriending strangers online who hid behind aliases including those of popular children’s characters.
Det Supt Ian Critchley, head of public protection with Lancashire Police who are also backing the day, said: “Unfortunately the internet has become an ever increasing method by which offenders seek to meet, groom and then sexually exploit young people.”
The school is also offering advice and support to parents from its own website and asks all parents of Year Seven pupils to engage in a special safety online homework session with their children.