Schools hosting speaker Thursday on internet safety

Abington schools will welcome Katie Greer, an expert on internet safety and cyberbullying, on Thursday for a daytime session with students and an evening session geared for parents.

Greer, who served as director of internet safety under former Attorney General Thomas Reilly and was an intelligence analyst with the Massachusetts State Police, will talk about internet trends, social media, and ways to keep students safe while using technology.

The session for parents will take place at 7 p.m. in the Middle/High School auditorium.

Her appearance is sponsored by the Abington Education Foundation and Abington C.O.P.E.S.

Interim Assistant High School Principal Kate Casey, who helped coordinate the event, said she hopes parents and gaurdians walk away from the event with some tools and resources that help them navigate how they and their students both use technology.

“[H]osting Katie is important because we often ask our students to use their computers and phones at school and at home to complete schoolwork, but we haven’t fully taught them how to navigate the technology world,” she said. “I want to be sure our students and families know how to keep themselves safe online while using the technology that is embedded in our lives.”

Middle and high school students will hear Greer speak during the school day.

Erin O’Brien, who has seen Greer speak previously, said she has a “real gift” connecting with younger audiences.

“She meets them right where they are – in a fast-paced, online all the time world,” said O’Brien, a mother of three Abington students.

“Katie promotes awareness about the real dangers of technology while allowing room for excitement about how awesome technology can be when used for good. The summary session with parents and guardians in the evening will be incredibly valuable for our community. Technology in the hands of our kids is a fast-paced, moving and overwhelming target.

“We are lucky to be able to pause and hear from Katie on what to look out for, and what to encourage.”