Students need to be safe; they need to learn to swim.

Friendship Assistance Brigade FAB - Antibullying from ICSD educator and social worker Celia Clement

Great lesson plans:

i Safe- A full program:

Tips for persons of all ages:

Andy's bookmarks on Internet Safety

From: "Nancy Willard" <>

> Dr. Lee Sebastiani
  • Marywood University Testing Coordinator

Thanks Lee, but for the record do not consider myself "a legend" and did not
pay Lee to say this. ;-)

I strongly encourage you to be very careful in evaluating curriculum. There
is curriculum out from several organizations that has been created with
significant funding through the US Department of Justice which in the
opinion of many is not grounded in the research and uses ineffective risk
prevention approaches.

I am concerned that many of you with expertise in educational technology do
not also have expertise in risk prevention. Risk prevention specialists
would take one look at this curriculum and tell you that it will not be
effective. But anyone who is enthusiastic about these technologies will also
be immediately concerned - because the curriculum is so grounded in fear.

The curriculum that is currently available from CyberSmart is really good. I
will provide an approach that may work more effectively at the middle and
high school level. At the elementary level I recommend using CyberSmart.

The following is a short section from the materials that I will be releasing
on approaches that will not work and alternatives to use. You can use this
as a guide when you are looking at curriculum. I hope this helps.

Approaches to Avoid ~ Alternatives To Use

No Fear-Based Messages

Teens dismiss Internet ³fear² messages as an adult overreaction and lack of
understanding. Increases the probability they will not listen to adults or
report concerns.
Provide practical information about risks and protective strategies.

No Stranger-Danger Warnings
Stranger danger warnings do not work in the Real World and will not work
online. Online incidents involving known peers are far more harmful and
difficult to address. Most strangers are perfectly safe.
Help students learn how to interact safety with people they know in person
and those they meet or get to know online.

Not ³Just Say ŒNo¹²
Simplistic rules against normative online behavior will not work. Young
people will post material online and interact with people they do not know.
Provide students with comprehensive insight on how to prevent and
effectively respond to online concerns.

Not Sole Reliance on Adults
Young people will not tell adults about online concerns simply because we
tell them to.
Teach them how to effectively respond to most incidents. Tell them what
adults can do to help. Encourage them to assist peers and report significant
concerns to adults.

No Social Networking Fear
The vast majority of teens use these sites. The sites have excellent
protective features. If teens are careful about who they ³friend² and what
they post they are very safe.
Teach them how to use social networking sites safety and responsibly.

Not Teens Only As Victims
Messages may imply or refer to teens as ³victims.² Sometimes teens are
victims. But other times they are intentionally engaging in risky or harmful
online behavior.
Address their own behavior. This is what we can ³fix.²

Don¹t Act Like an Authority
Teens do not believe that adults understand their world as well as they do ~
and in most cases they are correct. You can act like an authority with
elementary students.
Respect their insight. Engage in a partnership. Set up situations where
savvier students communicate guidance to peers. Use older students to teach
younger students.

Evaluating Curriculum
While CSRIU has prepared instructional material that can be used with
students, this presentation has been designed to provide educators with the
necessary background to be able to effectively use curriculum that has been
prepared by other organizations ~ if this curriculum is grounded in the
research insight and uses effective risk prevention messaging, such as the
CyberSmart curriculum.

Unfortunately, there is a significant amount of material currently available
that does not meet this research-based standard.

In evaluating curriculum for adoption, it is recommended that schools:
Request information on the research insight into youth risk online that has
been relied upon in creating the curriculum.
Ask the organization to describe the evidence-based risk prevention
approaches that have relied on in creating the curriculum.
Review the curriculum in the context of the research insight presented
within this material.
Evaluate the curriculum to determine whether it uses any of the above
ineffective approaches.


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Aggression, Threats, and Distress (Research Press)

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
Internet Safely and Responsibly (Jossey-Bass)

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