Schuette launches 2012 Cyber Safety Initiative at Grand Rapids school

Attorney General offers free Internet training for K-8 students, parents

Attorney General Bill Schuette visited CA Frost Environmental Science Academy last week to announce the launch of the 2012 Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI), a free internet safety program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, offered by the Attorney General’s Office.

“The Michigan Cyber Safety Initiative is a proactive way to protect our children who are constantly targeted by predators online” said Schuette. “Our office is committed to providing children and parents the tools necessary to stay safe.”

Michigan CSI includes customized presentations for students in kindergarten through eighth grade that are offered by trained professionals from the Attorney General’s Office.  The program has been presented to more than 817,000 students throughout Michigan since its inception in the fall of 2007.

The 2012 program announced by Schuette addresses consequences associated with the increased prevalence of cyberbullying and ‘sexting’ (the transfer of sexually explicit photos via cell phones), in addition to providing important safety tips about avoiding Internet predators.

Topics covered include:
• How to recognize common Internet predator grooming techniques;
• The dangers of revealing personal information through the internet or social networking websites;
• The “three keeps”: Keep safe by not sharing personal information, keep away from internet strangers, and keep telling parents or a trusted adult about anything that makes you uncomfortable;
• Appropriate responses to cyberbullying and encouragement to be kind online;
• The consequences of sharing inappropriate material via cell phones or on social networking websites; and,
• A sample Online Safety Contract that can be discussed with parents or guardians.

Schuette noted that Michigan CSI also offers the option of a community seminar for parents, teachers, and community leaders.  The seminar covers how to access the Michigan Sex Offender Registry, tutorials on searching a child’s social networking site, monitoring Internet history logs, and the use of safe web surfing filters.  The website also includes a community seminar calendar with information about currently scheduled events.


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