A new resource to help teach Pennsylvania children how to remain safe while using the Internet was unveiled Wednesday at the Safe Schools Conference in Harrisburg.
"Protecting Our Kids Online" is a video/CD that has been distributed to schools and intermediate units across the state. In addition, more than 500 law enforcement agencies have received related training.
The project is a joint effort of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State Police.
"While the Internet gives youngsters the chance to grow and learn in an ever-changing technological environment, it is imperative for parents and educators to be proactive and protect children from the dangers of online sexual predators and cyber bullies," said PCCD Chairman Walter M. Phillips. "The Protecting Our Kids Online CD is a wonderful tool to assist and educate parents, school administrators, teachers and community members about these threats and the appropriate steps they can take."
"The Internet provides great opportunities for young people to learn about our world, but we must do all we can to ensure that our children don't become the victims of Internet crime," said State Police Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller.
"Providing a safe, nurturing environment for our children, both inside and outside of school, is a shared responsibility and takes a collective response," Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak said. "When all of us -- educators, parents, and caregivers alike -- work together, we can ensure each child grows into an inspired, productive life-long learner."
The Protecting Our Kids Online CD was funded by the PCCD and supported by the Center for Schools and Communities, which focuses on prevention and intervention initiatives operated by schools, organizations and agencies serving children, youth and families. View the video online.
The announcement came on the final day of the 2008 Safe Schools Conference, "Keeping Our Children Safe: Strategies for Schools and Communities," which addressed all aspects of comprehensive safe schools planning, including Internet safety issues.
The conference was sponsored by the Department of Education in partnership with State Police, PCCD, and the Center for Safe Schools. More information may be found online.