In today’s world, children face many dangers, from the age-old problem of bullying to the newer worry of online predators. To ensure the safety and healthy development of our children, we must do what we can to protect them from potential threats.
The internet can be a wonderful educational resource, opening up a wealth of knowledge to a child; yet, it also has the ability to open up a world filled with danger. Unfortunately, there are those who use the internet to exploit and harm children. Children must be taught safe internet practices, just as we teach our children not to approach strangers and to look both ways before crossing the street.
As a former Florida certified teacher, I have seen firsthand how problems with bullying can be detrimental to a child’s intellectual and emotional development, and prevent them from feeling safe and comfortable in their learning environment. I have championed anti-bullying education legislation and worked to make sure children and our schools have the tools necessary to combat these deeply traumatizing experiences. After all, if children do not feel secure in their schools, how can they possibly be able to learn effectively?
The government cannot act alone in protecting our children. The first line of defense has traditionally been families, who bear primary responsibility for the youngest members of our society. We must not infringe upon parents’ rights to educate and instill their own unique values in their children. As a proud mother and grandmother, I understand the necessity of guarding and guiding children as they explore the world around them. In them, we see better versions of ourselves, and hope for them more than we could dream of for our own lives.