Hero photograph
Suzanne presenting John Parsons with the Tuakana Taina gift
Photo by Leoni Combrink

John Parsons – Bringing the Cyber-Safety Message to Hagley

Suzanne Waters —

“The most important relationship a child has is the one with their family, not with their technology.”

This was the clear and consistent message from John Parsons in his cyber-safety presentations at the end of Term 2 at Hagley College. John ran three student workshops covering our Year 9-11 students, plus a staff professional learning session after school, and then capped off the day with a parent presentation in the evening.

As NZ’s leading expert on cyber-safety for children, John has extensive experience working with young people and their families. He sees lives which have been turned upside down through cyber-crime and has helped families to repair and rebuild damaged online reputations, while ensuring that the young people are stronger and more in control of their online lives.

John covered a vast range of topics for each of the workshops. The student workshops focused on: future-proofing your online identity for employment and building an identity asset; learning to repel and report unwanted attention; sexting; online sexual predation; how to project self-confidence and control online; empowering students to support each other in times of need; and developing a strong sense of self-worth.

The evening session allowed parents to gain an understanding of the topics John covered with the students during the day, while also identifying the specific challenges children face when using ICT, providing guidance on behaviour management processes for parents in the practical situations they face, and empowering parents to take responsibility for safeguarding their children. Parents left with the tools to support their children in how to use ICT safely and ethically at home and at school.

John’s expertise and energy, plus his use of humour and real-life scenarios, made the workshops informative, lively, and fun. Student, staff, and parent feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. His message underscores and supports our values-based approach to working with our young people. We will definitely be looking to bring John back again in the future!

Copies of John’s book “Keeping Your Children Safe Online – A Guide for New Zealand Parents” are available to borrow from the Hagley College Library or to purchase from John’s website: www.s2e.co.nz.