Keeping Students Safe Online

By: Tony Tagliavia Email
By: Tony Tagliavia Email

Like most 13-year-olds, Tyler Curtis spends time on the internet.

But he knows what to watch for.

"Predators are out there," Tyler told us. "If you give them too much information, they can go and find you and stuff."

The eighth-grader at Pattengill Middle School got tips on how to stay safe through a pilot program put together by the Michigan Attorney General's Office and tested in Lansing schools.

"The kids come out thinking, 'Oh my, we really have to be careful now,' " said Pattengill Principal Kirk Sulzman.

Now tens of thousands more mid-Michigan students could have the chance to participate in the program because it's being expanded statewide.

"It's giving the ability to defend yourself to every child and giving every parent the chance to better protect their kids," Attorney General Mike Cox said.

Cox and Lansing School District Superintendent T.C. Wallace announced the kickoff of Michigan "CSI" or Cyber Safety Initiative at Pattengill. The attorney general says the program goes above and beyond what some schools were already doing.

"We haven't had the intersection of the edcuation community and the law enforcement community coming together," he said.

"It's actually very unique," said Marsali Hancock, president of the national Internet Keep Safe Coalition. "First of all, it's one of the most comprehensive programs we've ever seen."

The program will go to schools to give kids presentations geared at their age groups: kindergarten through third grade, fourth and fifth grades and then middle schoolers. There's also program for parents, who can use the program's website to get information and report incidents.

Eighty districts around the state have signed up, including Lansing and Okemos. More are expected to follow, leaving more students aware of what not to do online.


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