Online sexual images are distorting a boy's view of the world - MP
WITH a simple click of a mouse, explicit online sexual content is just seconds away.
And such ease of access is now causing many Gloucester parents and teachers to worry about the long-term damage it is having on children.
Government minister Maria Miller has demanded teachers, parents and internet providers do more to stop children accidentally viewing an "explosion of internet porn".
Keith Ledbury, from the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) in Gloucestershire, said the problem has become a "modern-day phenomenon" and has no place in the classroom.
Traditional Shave, Facial Treatment, Whisky and a Shoe Shine -...View details
Gents, enjoy a traditional shave, facial treatment, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £31
Terms: Early and later appointments available upon request.
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
"Young people must be protected from pornography and children should receive appropriate guidance as part of relationship and sex education," he said.
"We would also like to see improved advice for schools to help them manage these issues most effectively. There is no place for explicit materials in schools – even in the course of teaching about their dangers.
"But many young people are exposed to such materials on the internet and phones. In the face of this, young people need to know how to cope with and avoid these distorted views of relationships."
Parent Katie Jones, whose six-year-old daughter attends Harewood Infant School, said internet safety must start at home.
"Parents need to take some responsibility for what their children view online," she said.
"It is a fine line between preserving a child's innocence and teaching them about sex and online safety.
"You want them to stay as children for as long as possible, but you have to make them aware of the potential threat."
Lessons in personal social and health education already form part of the curriculum, teaching children about online dangers.
John Pemberthy, Gloucest- ershire spokesman for the National Union of Teachers, said: "Online safety is something that teachers are concerned about – we are aware it is an increasing problem.
"There is plenty of scope for more work on the dangers of social networking as schools already teach sex education, and also work on promoting good relationships and traditional values."