OPRF to host meeting about blogs

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Oak Park and River Forest High School Prin./Supt. Susan Bridge thinks Oak Park parents need to know more about what their kids are doing on the Internet and in the online world known as "blogs."

At the District 200 school board meeting Thursday, Bridge announced that she would bring parents, faculty, students and administrators together in a discussion about students' Internet use.

"With the amount of time children spend in front of the computer, whether that's at home or at school, where is the time for inner connections and interpersonal connections?" asked Bridge.

The discussion of students and Internet use came up at recent Instructional Council meeting concerning predatory activities online at blogs, chat rooms and other youth-oriented online sites.

The main focus of the proposed parents meeting will also focus on Internet addiction and possible related causes.

Board member Yasmin Ranney said the language on sites such as MySpace, and the accessibility of information concerning young Internet users alarmed her.

"I don't know what all of them are called but my children use them," she said of the sites. "I showed my daughter how I can find her using her screen name. I Googled her and all kinds of information came up about her, and it just scared me."

Bridge said she would contact the elementary and middle schools and parents groups at districts 97 and 200 for their input and involvement. No date has been set.

?#34;Terry Dean

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