My PC Problem

When is that bell going to ring? I was only vaguely paying attention. We were having
another lesson on cyber safety. It’s the same thing over and over. There really isn’t anything
more to learn, I grumpily thought to myself. I had been up since dawn and was tired. I
yawned and tried to stretch my legs underneath my desk.

The constant talking of my teacher in the background was interrupting my flow of thoughts.

“LAYLA,” a loud booming voice rudely interrupted my thoughts.

“Layla, are you listening to me? Can you please tell me what I just said?”

It was my teacher, Mrs Chestwether: she didn’t look very impressed with me. How long had
she been trying to get my attention? Oh gosh, this was embarrassing. I quickly gathered my
thoughts, sat up smartly, tried to look calm and said, “Um . . .what did . . .you say?” I slowly
repeated her question, desperately trying to think of something to say. “Well. . .you were,
um. . .talking about cyber safety.”

I took a breath and gathered my courage. “Here’s the thing, Mrs Chestwether, I already
know all this! I know all about staying safe online yada yada yada . . .” I let my voice drift off.

“Miss, you realise I have a computer in my room? Nothing has jumped out and bitten me
yet,” I giggled and the class laughed along.

Mrs Chestwether gave me a long look, her eyes narrowing with anger. The room was silent;
the moment seemed to stretch for hours. She seemed even less impressed with me now.
DRRRRRINNNGGGGG. To my relief, the bell rang and everyone jumped out of their seats and
went running out of the classroom (me included).

As I ran past, I snuck a quick look at Mrs Chestwether: she was still glaring at me. Yeeks! Talk
about being saved by the bell!

The rest of the school day passed by quickly and before I knew it, I was walking home.

As I walked into the house, I dropped my school bag on the floor and mum called out “Don’t
leave your bag in the hallway!”

I quickly ran back, grabbed my bag, yelled hello to mum and ran into my room.

I sat down at my computer. Ahhhhhh, the moment I had been waiting for!

I noticed a new message and saw it was from an old friend. I read the words on the screen:
“Hey, it’s Kaitlin. Remember me?”

Wow, this was a surprise! Kaitlin had been in my Kindy class and was one of the first friends
I made at school. She left last year when her parents moved to Ireland for work.
I was so happy to hear from her! The next hour seemed to disappear as we chatted about
the apps and games we both liked.

“I have a surprise for you” was the next line she typed.

“What is it?” I wrote back.


I let out a big whoohooooo and nearly fell out of my chair, I was so excited.

“I am staying at Nana’s house, mum said I could meet you at the park this afternoon” read
the next line.

“Awesome!!!” I typed back.

We agreed to meet at Gladstone Park near the bubbler in half an hour.

I raced out of the house and down the road (Gladstone Park was at the end of our street) so
I didn’t have far to go.

I was so excited about seeing Kaitlin again. I wonder if she is taller than me now, I thought to

I looked around impatiently. I couldn’t see Kaitlin anywhere. I felt a tap on my shoulder and
spun around. “Mrs Chestwether!” I exclaimed, surprised. What on earth is she doing here? I
thought to myself.

“Meeting someone?” She asked in a strange tone.

I felt a knot building in my stomach. “Yes, I am.” I stated.

“Kaitlin, is it?” She asked again in that same strange tone.

“Yes, how did you know?” I asked her, confused now.

“Well, my dear Layla, if you had been listening in class today, you would know that cyber
safety is about being alert at all times when communicating with someone online. I was
easily able to impersonate Kaitlin by downloading a photo of her from her profile page. Can
you see how easily I lured you here?”

I looked at Mrs Chestwether and realised she had very sneakily set me up.

She went on to explain, “I know you think the classes on cyber safety are boring and that
you know everything about staying safe online. But I hope this little exercise has shown you
that you don’t and that you must be more careful online and listen in class!”

“Yes, Miss” I said, “lesson learnt.”

Hannah Gaunt
Year 5
Father John Therry Catholic Primary School