Fla. Attorney General Announces Statewide Cyber Safety Challenge

The Cyber Safety program combines real-life stories and examples to help students stay safe online.

by / January 17, 2008

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith today announced a statewide CyberSafety challenge to school principals to sign their schools up for the Attorney General's CyberSafety Education presentations. The challenge is part of Attorney General McCollum's goal to reach every middle and high school in the state with his CyberSafety presentation.

The CyberSafety program, developed by Attorney General McCollum for middle and high school students, combines real-life stories and examples to help students identify ways they could be victimized by Internet predators. Members of the Attorney General's Child Predator CyberCrime Unit have been bringing the 50-minute CyberSafety program students statewide since the beginning of the school year.

"One of the most important lessons we can teach our young people this year is how to protect themselves from Internet child predators," said Attorney General McCollum. "By challenging our principals to sign up their students to receive CyberSafety Education presentations before the school year ends, we hope to ensure as many children as possible have the tools they need to stay safe online. I appreciate Education Commissioner Smith joining with me on this important issue."

Two challenge winners will be announced in May -- the district that signs up the largest total number of schools for presentations and the district that signs up the highest percentage of its schools for presentations. The winning districts will receive special CyberSafety presentations hosted in person by Attorney General McCollum and Commissioner Smith next fall.

"Nothing is more important than student safety," said Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith. "We must strive to do all that we can to equip our children with the knowledge they need to protect themselves as they explore the many benefits the Internet has to offer."

Principals can visit http://www.safeflorida.net/safeschools to log into a site developed specifically to register schools to receive the Attorney General's CyberSafety presentation, and then sign up for presentations at a time that works with their schedules. The presentations are available to schools as well as parent groups. Since the beginning of the school year, more than 70 schools have received presentations to more than 24,000 students.