01 Jul 2015
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Police and schools - staying safe online

By Shannon Williams

The New Zealand Schools Trustees Association (NZSTA) are reminding parents and educators about the importance of partnerships between schools and the NZ Police.

“Students learn better when they feel safe and they are safe,” the organisation says. 

The NZSTA is a not for profit that represents the interests of 91% of the approximately 2,415 school boards of trustees, comprising around 18,000 individual trustees. 

“Partnerships between schools and police to address issues such as online safety, travelling safely to and from school, vandalism and bullying help create an environment where students and staff can focus their energies on learning.

Most of the interactions between police and schools are about proactively building relationships, supporting road safety and crime prevention programmes, and working with School Traffic Safety Teams (road patrols).

The NZ Police help schools deal with online safety via the Keeping Ourselves Safe (KOS) programme. 

“Critical thinking skills are important for everyone in cyberspace,” the NZ Police say via its KOS web page. “You can help children question whoever and whatever they encounter, and to think carefully before sharing anything online.“

Police education officers have been trained to help schools and parents use cyber space safely. 

“Communication technologies are extremely useful tools. However some people use these tools for anti-social and/or criminal activities. You need to know how your children might be at risk how you can help protect them."

Parents and educators should work together to manage children’s use of the internet, mobile phones, games consoles other communication technologies.

An overview of Police-school partnerships will be presented to school trustees attending the NZSTA National Conference, which is being held in Auckland July 3-5. 

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