Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Superintendent Luna, Attorney General Unveil New ProtecTeens DVD

Facebook. MySpace. Texting. These are the ways kids communicate these days, but at times, they can also be risks for Idaho children across the state.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna joined Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Ben Ysursa today in releasing the new ProtecTeens Version 3.0, a completely updated Internet safety program to inform and assist parents regarding the dangers children face from sexual predators and other risks on the Internet.

“We know this is an issue our students face today. According to a recent survey of high school students statewide, 17.7 percent said they had been electronically bullied, whether through e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging or some other form,” Superintendent Luna said. “Until a student is free from intimidation and fear, they will never be completely free to learn. ProtecTeens is an important component in our efforts to encourage healthy behaviors in cyber space.”

ProtecTeens consists of a 25-minute video presentation, the Attorney General’s Internet Safety Manual, A Parents’ Guide to Social Networking Websites, The Internet Lingo Dictionary, The Family Contract for Internet Safety, and information about parental control software.

The new ProtecTeens video includes sections covering:
·    general Internet risks and safe practices;
·    social networking websites;
·    online chat and instant messaging;
·    cell phones and “sexting”;
·    online gaming and virtual worlds; and
·    cyberbullying.

“We tend to take our electronic technology for granted these days, but if you think about the devices you use today, and the way you use them, the technology has changed considerably since we produced the original ProtecTeens program in 2005,” Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “This new video addresses many of those changes in technology and includes subjects that were not even on the radar screen five years ago. We have also completely revised and updated the supporting publications. All of the ProtecTeens components are packaged on a single DVD that includes the video and printed materials in English and in Spanish.”

“We think we’ve created a program that every parent with teenage children should watch,” Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said. “It has a good discussion of the benefits and risks kids face online, and it can really help parents minimize those risks.”

You can order a free copy of the ProtecTeens video or free copies of supporting publications through the Attorney General’s website.

In addition to Attorney General, Superintendent Luna and Secretary of State, the ProtecTeens partnership includes: Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter, First Lady Lori Otter, the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association, the Idaho Sheriffs Association, the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Idaho School Boards Association, the Idaho Association of School Administrators, the Idaho PTA and the Idaho Medical Association.

~ Melissa M.

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