Jarryd Hayne, who recently returned from playing American football, took a trip down memory lane yesterday when he visited his primary school.
The Minto-export talked about internet security at John Warby Public School in Airds.
As an internet security ambassador for Norton, Mr Hayne met with more than 100 students to deliver a Norton Online Safety Clinic that focused on equipping students with the skills they need to deal with cyber bullying and their digital lives.
Ahead of National Day of Action against Violence and Bullying, Mr Hayne shared his own experiences about the challenges he faced in the online world.
“When I was a student, bullying happened mostly on the school playground but today it can occur anytime of the day and anywhere,” Mr Hayne said.
“People can say hurtful things online and once they press that ‘enter’ button, it can’t be taken back.”
He also discussed how the internet had been a great place for him to stay connected with his family, friends and fans whilst overseas.
Mr Hayne said cyberbullying could make kids feel isolated, insecure, and depressed and those feelings could last a long time.
“Young people need to have each other’s back in the online world,” he said.
“If they see bad behaviour, kids shouldn’t be afraid to call it out, speak to a trusted adult and support the person being targeted.”
Assistant Principal Andrew Lord said it was great to have Mr Hayne come to visit the students.
“He has such a big profile within our community,” Mr Lord said.
“Everybody here has been really excited about his progress in the NFL and his achievements with the 49ers so far.”
Mr Lord said equipping students with the skills to be responsible, discerning and positive digital citizens was something the school emphasised.
“To have such a positive role model reinforce that message is a really powerful learning tool for our students and school community,” he said.