Nottingham parents must be made aware of the risks that come with their children using the internet according to teacher Ben McCalla,

Figures released by the NSPCC showed the charity provided 12,000 counselling sessions with young people in relation to online issues in the past year.

The problem has also been highlighted by the Internet Watch Foundation which identified over 57,000 URLs containing child sexual abuse images.

“need to be made aware of the risks”
Ben MCCalla, Teacher

Mr McCalla thinks that parents can’t afford to bury their heads in the sand on this issue, but he also thinks they need training and education on how to protect their kids.

“It’s essential that parents are supported in trying to understand the internet and social media. They need to be made aware of the risks and the dangers and supported in how they address them,” he said.

NSPCC Figures:

  • 1 in 3 internet users are children
  • 12,000 counselling sessions to do with internet related issues
  • 1 in 3 children have been a victim of cyber bullying
  • 1 in 4 children have experienced something upsetting on a social networking site
  • 2,100 counselling sessions with victims of child sexual exploitation
  • 57,000 URLs containing child sexual abuse images

He believes that teachers have a great opportunity to help protect young people but that everyone in society must play their part.

Hear more of how Ben’s school look to protect their pupils

“Teachers can have a great voice on this subject but they cannot do it alone. It’s essential that anyone and everyone who comes into contact with young people on a regular basis is supported in doing the same thing, whether that’s parents, police officers or health care professionals, teachers are only one part of that.”

Find out how you can play your part

Online bullying, sexting and false identities are just a few of many issues that young people are at risk from. Molly was blackmailed online when she was 17-years-old. Her story shows that these risks are very real. She thinks that chatting online just isn’t worth the risk.

“He was saying he would put up all of our conversations on Facebook so everyone could see them, if I didn’t send him a nude. It’s not worth it. If people don’t want to see you in person, and you can’t sit down with them and talk to them, then there’s probably something wrong there,” Molly said.

Hear more of Molly’s story here