Friday, January 23, 2009

Berkshire District Attorney's Office Launches Internet Safety Mentor Program

Felicia Vargas, manager of TechBoston and head of the BPS cybersafety campaign was invited out to Pittsfield to see a presentation by the Berkshire District Attorney's office about the Student Internet Safety Mentoring Program they have created in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. She was very excited about what they are doing with students and internet safety, and she brought back some great sample materials. The Berkshires are using NetSmartz workshops and materials to train high school students on issues of cybersafety. Those high school students then teach students from kindergarten to grade two basic internet safety lessons including:
  • Never go on the internet unsupervised
  • How to make smart decisions to keep themselves safe online
  • Appropriate internet behavior
  • The possible dangers of the internet
The mentor training will be conducted by staff from the District Attorney's office and the Massachusetts State Police. We at the BPS also hope to implement similar programs with our high school students teaching younger children about cyber safety. In the past, we have trained high school students and they have created cyber safety education materials for elementary school students. We commend what the Berkshire District Attorney's office is doing and hope that the program is a great success. If you want to inquire more about their initiative, you can find information on their website.

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