The UK Council for Child Internet Safety has launched an initiative to introduce compulsory lessons in internet safety for all primary school pupils from 2011 (see also a BBC article, Internet safety for children targeted). Good to see coordinated action being taken in this important field but it's not just a case of simply warning the children. Adults must be much more aware of what goes on on the net and the key skill of digital literacy for all comes to mind.
In response to the news there's a highly relevant blog post, So shoot me.., that looks at the real dangers facing children on the net but also stresses the need for adults to learn to become better role models (be sure to read the comments to this post). The net is just a reflection of society and there's a sad lack of respect for other people's feelings and beliefs, not just on the net but in other media. Net bullying, hate campaigns and abusive comments are there for all to see on many websites and children absorb these impressions. Let's help the kids to use the net responsibly but we adults have to radically clean up our act too. It's like insisting on your kids wearing a seat belt or cycle helmet and then not doing so yourself.