Spokane – James A. McDevitt, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that on Friday, September 24, 2010, NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101 (NEWESD 101) in partnership with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the United States Attorney’s Office will be providing an all day forum on Internet safety.
The forum will provide an overview of Internet safety issues facing schools and law enforcement today. The program will include presentations by student mentors who provide peer-to-peer presentations, along with their program coordinator; a school administrator with first-hand experience of the impact these issues can have; perspectives from local and federal law enforcement; and a view of the digital dossier we are all creating by our online activities. The participants will have time for collaboration and time to begin planning an Internet safety program for their school district.
Additionally, the FTC will be distributing its new, free booklet called “Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online.” Net Cetera explains to parents and their children how to deal with issues such as social networking, cyberbullying, using mobile phones safely, and protecting the family computer from badware. The booklet is practical, plain-language, and value-neutral, so all parents – regardless of whether they are technologically savvy – can use it to help their kids make better decisions about online behavior. It is the most recent addition to the OnGuardOnline.gov consumer education campaign, which helps people guard against Internet fraud, secure their computers, and protect their privacy.
"We are partnering with educators and law enforcement to provide the tools and knowledge to keep our youth safe. We must prevent these crimes from happening in the first place because we cannot prosecute our way out of crime," said James McDevitt, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.
Over the past few years, NEWESD 101's Ed Tech Support Center, in collaboration with the U.S. Attorney's Office has been providing resources, presentations and train-the-trainer sessions for educators. You can visit NEWESD 101 at www.ESD101.net. Now, in conjunction with the FTC we will be facilitating the distribution of the Net Cetera booklet to schools throughout Washington.
The FTC created Net Cetera in response to a Congressional mandate in the Broadband Data Improvement Act and has promoted it through the interagency www.OnGuardOnline.gov campaign. The campaign includes 13 other federal agencies as partners and centers on this Web site. The booklet, which available in English and Spanish, emphasizes that the best way to keep children safe online is to talk to them, and it gives parents the information they need to have productive conversations with their kids. By discussing responsible socializing and communicating, parents – regardless of whether they are technologically savvy – can help their kids make better decisions about online behavior.
Participation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in February 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.