Law enforcement, school administrators support sex ed addition - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Law enforcement, school administrators support sex ed addition

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - A Missouri bill voted on by the House looks to amend the state's sex education requirements for public and charter schools.

It's no secret the kind of access kids have to the web these days.

Whether it's on their phones or on the computer internet danger is often just a click away.

"It's getting younger and younger every day," Detective Danny Hicks said.

Hicks runs the SEMO Cybercrimes Task Force with the Poplar Bluff Police Department and said teaching kids about internet safety cannot start early enough.

"Kids are getting on the internet at 5 and 6 years old playing games," Hicks said.

He said too often kids just don't what's out there.

"Lack of knowledge is our biggest fear," he said.

That's what the Missouri bill hopes to address.

If passed, it would add an internet safety component to the state schools' sex education curriculum.

"It's needed,” Poplar Bluff Schools superintendent Chris Hon said. “Our kids are growing up in a time when the access is there for them."

Hon said he supports the measure.

Some districts like his already try to inform students on their own.

"We teach a lot of digital citizenship at the junior high and the senior high,” Hon said. “We do it in the advisories and we do it in the classroom."

Hon said incorporating it into sex education could prove efficient, but it needs to go beyond that.

"I think it needs to be hit a lot of places and also keep the communication line open with parents," Hon said.

"For the most part the parents in a history when they didn't have computers when they were five or six years old so they don't have the knowledge,” Hicks said. “A lot of them don't have the knowledge."

In this case, law enforcement and school administrators are hoping to see that change.

"I'm not always real happy about things that legislature pushes down into curriculum, but to me this seems like a no brainer," Hon said.

The measure will now go to the Senate for a vote.

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