Sexting scandal: Colorado high school faces felony investigation – CNN, 11/9/2015
The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office has launched an innovative new program to address the challenges kids face in this digital age. The program is a collaboration with the Sacramento City Unified School District, Sacramento County Office of Education, Sacramento County Probation Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and Sacramento Police Department.
The Internet, Social Media Awareness, Resources and Training (#iSMART) program educates youth about the dangers, risks, and threats the Internet and social media pose for them today and in the future.
#iSMART is unique in that it is an interactive presentation, designed for kids to be an active participant in the learning process. A prosecutor and law enforcement officer use visual storyboards depicting several scenarios, including cyberbullying, sexting, sextortion, online strangers and stalkers, and gang activity online. Throughout the scenarios, facilitators ask thought provoking questions to get students thinking and talking about what they post, how quickly pictures or texts spread, how easily stalkers or predators can find them, and the short and long term consequences. Potential civil and criminal legal consequences are also discussed.
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert states, “The Internet and social media have become woven into our everyday lives, even among our children. As public safety professionals, parents, and educators, it’s important we work together to safeguard our children from the new dangers they face whether at home, school, or online.”
The first #iSMART presentations will be held in January in the Sacramento City Unified School District and the Folsom Cordova Unified School District.
“Kids are getting smart phones, iPads and social media accounts at younger and younger ages,” said SCUSD’s Bullying Prevention Specialist Jessica Wharton. “They are growing up online. But at the same time, many remain unaware of the dangers and risks of inappropriate or careless internet use. This is why the #iSMART partnership is so important: We need all the help we can get in educating students, parents and school staff about these dangers.”
“Cyberbullying and other social media threats can greatly impact students' ability to succeed in the classroom," said FCUSD Superintendent Deborah Bettencourt. "As social media pressures and dangers rapidly evolve, it's vital we work together to help our students understand that the choices they make today can have lasting consequences.”
#iSMART is geared toward middle and high school students. There is also a parent component to educate and provide parents with tools and resources to help them protect their children.
Both presentations are available through participating schools or by request from community groups. Requests for either presentation can be submitted online through the District Attorney’s Speakers Bureau. The request form can be found on the homepage of www.sacda.org.
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