A PARTNERSHIP OF LAW ENFORCEMENT officials, educators, parents and other community members has brought Internet safety to the forefront in Salem County, New Jersey. Even in this rural community, Internet safety issues are prevalent in our schools. Despite the limited resources, community leaders believe they have developed a model program that other communities can follow. The program promotes awareness to students and community members, and provides instruction to teachers, parents and law enforcement professionals to protect those who use the Internet.
With the motto, "We put our lives online," the local Initiative is coordinated by Salem County 2000, a nonprofit group that promotes lifelong learning. A two-year grant from the Salem Health and Wellness Foundation helped to start the program. To ensure that the initiative is sustained, a steering committee of all the partners was created and meets monthly to review the program and results. The curriculum is routinely updated as new threats emerge. For example, when sexting became a problem in early 2009, this topic was added to the curriculum. Steering committee partners are the New Jersey State Police, the Salem County Prosecutor's Office, the Salem County Sheriff's Department, the Salem County Municipal Alliance, the DuPont Co. and Salem Community College.
The Internet Safety Initiative began in 2007 with instruction to teachers, administrators, and other personnel (IT staff). All 15 school districts in Salem County were represented at the training. These individuals then trained others at their schools via workshops and...
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