Sue Samad had tucked her daughter, Sarah, into bed for the night, taking her iPad with her as she left the room. This happened nightly, but Sarah broke their routine by coming downstairs in tears just minutes later. The little girl had a confession to make: she had been chatting with strangers online in the game she had been playing. She “broke the rules,” she said through sobs, and mom was stunned. They didn’t have a rule about chatting with strangers, by Sue suddenly realized that they probably should.
Sarah begged her mother to ground her, but Sue said that she would think about it. If she confiscated the iPad and grounded her, what would come of it in the end? The next day, she typed up this official looking document and placed it in their mailbox to find the next day. The document was from the fictional department of Security Intelligence for Children Cyber Safety, warning the family that Sarah had been speaking to strangers. The letter went into detail, explaining why it was so dangerous to talk to strangers online.
Sue used the letter to start a conversation with her daughter and son, who realized that speaking to strangers online could endanger their entire family in extreme cases. She plans to keep the letter until her children turn 18, and hopes that the incident will allow them to work through internet safety as a family as the years go on and technology expands.
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