Indiana Launches Internet Safety Campaign

INDIANAPOLIS – On March 10, superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Suellen Reed joined Net Literacy, an Indiana-based, student-led nonprofit, to launch a $100,000 campaign to increase Internet safety for students and families across the state. The campaign includes student-led programs held in local schools and a series of public service announcements to be aired on television statewide beginning this month.

“The Internet is a wonderful educational resource for our students, but we all need to be more aware of the dangers that come with it,” said Reed. “This student-led campaign will help to increase Internet safety for students and families across Indiana.”

The $100,000 campaign titled “The Ten Most Important Things to Know About the Internet” is sponsored by Bright House Networks and includes 10 student-generated public service announcements addressing everything from cyber bullies and Internet predators to viruses and hate Web sites.

Safe Connects

Through Safe Connects, one of Net Literacy’s core programs, students will teach classmates and parents in their communities about Internet safety in meetings after school in locations across the state. As part of the expansion of Safe Connects, four 45-minute Internet safety programs, sponsored by Intel, will also be produced and broadcasted on local government channels and will be available on cable providers’ local on demand service for Hoosiers across the state.

“Many students and adults are not aware of all of the dangers on the Internet,” says Ian Truesdell, a high school senior on Net Literacy’s board of directors who leads the Safe Connects initiative. “It’s important that Internet users know that one out of every ten Web sites contains malware, hate Web sites or use a combination of truth and lies to spread hate, and that using MySpace or Facebook inappropriately could cost someone their job in the future.”

About Net Literacy

Net Literacy is a student-managed nonprofit that promotes youth philanthropy through a series of community outreach programs. The company’s mission is to increase computer access by creating public computer labs, teach computer and Internet skills, and educate youth and parents about Internet safety.

Net Literacy was incorporated in 2003 by middle school students and has an equal number of youth and adult board members. Reed, as well as U.S. Senators Richard G. Lugar and Evan Bayh, serve as honorary board members. Over 400 students across the state have served as volunteers. To learn more about Net Literacy’s programs, visit www.netliteracy.org.

More about Internet safety

The Indiana Department of Education’s School Safety Specialist Academy offers training and resources to support local schools in keeping students safe while logged on to the Internet. These ongoing efforts address such issues as cyber bullying, online safety for educators, social networking sites, Internet crimes against children and protecting children from Internet predators. For more information about School Safety Specialist Academy training or programs, visit www.doe.in.gov/isssa.

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Indiana Department of Education March 10, 2008 press release

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