Resources Abound for Setting Up
Internet Safety Programs
like many districts, Boulder Val- ley School District in Colorado had limited programs in place
to address Internet safety. In response
to our parent community requests,
our superintendent enlisted the IT department to help create a plan. After
many days of strategizing, we came
up with the following ideas to get us
started, and we hope they will guide
other schools as well.
Call your local law enforcement or
school resource officer. Chances are
that they have someone specially
trained to speak about Internet safety,
either to parents or students. “The
classroom is a terrific venue for the
school resource officer to connect
with students. Having law enforcement and teachers present together
reminds students of the importance of
staying safe online,” says Julie Morris
of the Boulder Police Department.
Investigate your parent organizations.
Parents can be trained to present to
other parents in the community. Creating a bevy of trained parents promotes community involvement and
multiplies the number of people able
to deliver Internet safety classes.
Use your high school leadership organizations. The
Future Business Leaders of
America, your student council,
and many other high school
groups have members who are
eager to get involved in activities
that better their communities. Training as an i-Mentor through i-Safe
provides high school students with
lessons, materials, and multimedia
resources to reach out to elementary
and middle schools as a teacher and
spokesperson for responsible Internet
behavior. The mentor training is a
self-paced collection of Internet safety
lessons that students complete online.
Once they receive their certificates,
they can access the materials they
need to get started. Find details at
Contact your Project Safe Childhood
coordinator. The U.S. Justice Department has created the Project Safe
Childhood initiative to encourage
communities to work together to educate people about dangers online and
how to keep children safe. “The power
of Project Safe Childhood lies in the
grassroots efforts of communities to
educate parents and students about the
dangers online,” according to Habib
Nasrullah from the Justice Department.
“Project Safe Childhood encourages
collaboration between law enforcement,
business, educators, and parents. Along
with solutions and ideas, each entity
brings a unique perspective about educating the community.”
Every state has a Project Safe
Childhood coordinator through
its state Attorney General’s Office.
Find grant opportunities,
speaker connections, and resources at
Work with key district resources.
Create partnerships with your district departments so the message to
students happens frequently and in
a variety of contexts.
• Work with your school librarians.
Every student makes a trip to the
library during the school year. Libraries are also a key link in the research process, which often involves
Internet use. Capitalize on this fact
and build some Internet safety lessons into discussions with students
in the library. Try placing posters
near computers to remind them
about safety tips, and use the library
webpage to link to Internet safety
sites. Use collaborative teaching
time to integrate Internet safety into
• Contact the health education coordinator, the safe schools committee,
or the antibullying liaison. In most
districts, these types of programs
are well established and are a natural fit for blending Internet safety
into the curriculum.
Four Things All Kids Should Know about Online Safety
1. learn how to choose and create appropriate screen
2. think ahead. once you post content in the cyberworld,
it is available around the globe and can be retrieved
even after it’s been deleted.
3. if you are in trouble or feel victimized, tell someone
or report it anonymously to cyber tipline at www.
4. Be careful about responding to people you do not know.
By Jennifer Hanson