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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information:
May 23, 2006

Office of The Attorney General
- Zulima V. Farber, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Gregory A. Paw, Director

 

David Wald, OAG
609-292-4791
Kathryn Forsyth, DOE
609-292-1126

 

Media Advisory
Internet Safety Day - Thursday, May 25
Attorney General and Education Commissioner Plan School Tour
to Heighten Awareness of Internet Predators

Trenton, N.J. – Attorney General Zulima V. Farber and Acting Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy will visit four schools on Thursday, May 25 to help draw attention to the risks posed to young people on the Internet and offer tips to students, teachers and parents on safe use of the Internet to guard against online predators.

The two Corzine administration cabinet officers will be joined by county prosecutors and State Police and Division of Criminal Justice cyber experts who plan presentations in each of the schools stressing the importance of Internet safety.

Attorney General Farber and Commissioner Davy will visit middle schools in Gloucester and Monmouth counties and a high school in Mercer County while schools are in session, and cap the day with a special evening presentation in Union County which is arranged to underscore the importance of parent involvement in monitoring their children’s computer use.

“While the Internet can be a wonderful tool for learning and exploring new worlds, it can also be a very dangerous place,’’ Attorney General Farber said. “That is why it is especially important for us to teach our children and their parents about smart, safe ways to use the Internet. It is also why we decided to devote a full-day to our Internet safety campaign across the state.’’

“We spend a great deal of time and effort teaching students how to use technology," said acting Commissioner of Education Davy. "While most of them are far more technologically literate than their parents, they are still children and they are often unaware of the extent of the scams, slams and risks that exist in the internet world. Schools and parents have a joint responsibility to learn about what's going on out there and to teach our children how to recognize dangers and protect themselves."

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, one out of five children ages 10 to 17 receive sexual solicitations online. Internet Safety Day was designed to combat this disturbing statistic and provide children and their parents with the tools to surf the Net safely, especially as summer approaches and children are likely to spend more time on-line with school out. One study found that 70 percent of unwanted solicitations from sexual predators occurred when kids were on-line at home.

Parents must set ground rules and children need to know what is appropriate behavior on the Internet and what information should be kept private and not given out to strangers. Parents need the tools to supervise and monitor their children’s time on the computer and understand the phenomenon of “myspace.com.’’ This website has become the most popular web site among students with more than 57 million members. It’s also become a favorite of child predators, con artists and cyber bullies, according to law enforcement officials and computer safety experts.

At each school, a thirty-minute presentation is planned by computer crime experts from the State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, or county prosecutors’ offices. Since the first of the year, members of the State Police Digital Technical Investigation Unit and Cyber Crime Unit have conducted more than 180 Internet safety presentations to grammar, middle school, and high school students, as well as parents, teachers and civic groups.

The schedule for Thursday, May 25 follows:

  • 9:30 A.M.
    • Chestnut Ridge Middle School 641 Hurffville-Cross Keys Road
      Sewell; Washington Township
      Gloucester County
      856-582-3535 (James Barnes, principal)
  • 11:30 A.M.
    • Robbinsville High School
      155 Robbinsville-Edinburg Road
      Robbinsville; Washington Township
      Mercer County
      609-632-0950 (Deborah Fadde, principal)
  • 2:00 P.M.
    • Long Branch Middle School
      364 Indiana Avenue
      Long Branch
      Monmouth County
      732-229-5533 (John J. Perri, principal)
  • 7:00 P.M.
    • Union County Vocational Technical School
      1776 Raritan Road
      Scotch Plains
      908-889-8288 (John D. Crowley, principal

*Attorney General Farber and Commissioner Davy will be available to speak to reporters before each event.

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