House Concurrent Resolution No. 32




            Whereas, millions of people are now going online to exchange electronic mail and instant messages, participate in chat groups, post and read messages in newsgroups, surf the world wide web, and many other online activities. Children are no exception and in fact, they are more likely to be online than adults; and


            Whereas, personal computers are no longer the only method used for accessing the Internet. Children can go online from personal computers at home, a friend's house, in school, a library, club, or cafe. Many game consoles can be connected to the Internet and used for chatting and other online interaction. It is also possible to access the Internet on mobile devices such as cellular phones and other handheld devices. Children don't have to be in the company of responsible adults to use the Internet; and


            Whereas, in almost half of all households at least one child uses the Internet. By the time they are teenagers, nearly three out of four children are online. Teenagers who use the Internet are more likely to log on at school, which younger children who are online are more likely to log on at home; and


            Whereas, the widespread use of the Internet by children underscores the importance of working with families to encourage and help guide their children's online use in their own lives; and


            Whereas, technology and the Internet pose complex challenges for parents in order to keep children safe and smart when engaging in online activities. Many children have been confronted with material that is disturbing or inappropriate. There are steps parents can take to try to shield their children from such material; and


            Whereas, sadly there are cases where children have been victimized by serious crime as a result of going online. The fact that crimes are being committed online, however, is not a reason to avoid using the valuable services available online. Children need parental involvement and supervision to greatly minimize any potential risks of being online; and


            Whereas, in order to foster appropriate use of the Internet by children, parents should take responsibility for their children's online usage by familiarizing themselves about the Internet, their children's usage of the computer, and the online activities that their children are involved in:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fifth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby encourage the observance of the first day of each month as "Check Your Child's Internet Usage Day" in Missouri. All parents are urged to set aside time each month to monitor the online computer usage of their children. All schools, educators, state agencies, and the community at-large are encouraged to observe Check Your Child's Internet Usage Day with activities and information that promote responsible online usage by children and that support parents in the monitoring of children's online usage; and


            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for Governor Jay Nixon and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.