FBI-SOS Initiative Educates Students How to Avoid Online Sexual Predators, Cyberbullying & Other Internet Dangers

September 8, 2010

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Millions of children are online everyday. Do you think they are aware of the dangers that exist? Do you even know the evil residing online looking to connect with children? The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and administrators for the FBI-SOS initiative do. Online child pornography/child sexual exploitation investigations accounted for 39 percent of all investigations worked under the FBI’s Cyber Division.

Designed to meet state and federal Internet safety mandates, the FBI-SOS (Safe Online Surfing) Internet Challenge, is a free educational program that delivers critical Internet safety information in a fun, competitive format to students in 3rd through 8th grades with a separate monthly challenge for each grade level. At the end of each month, the schools with the highest-scoring students in each grade are rewarded with a visit from a FBI Special Agent, who presents the national trophy.

The FBI’s Miami field office collaborated with Nova Southeastern University’s Fischler School of Education and Human Services six years ago to create the program, which is now a national FBI initiative. Program administrator Daryl Hulce has logged thousands of miles presenting to numerous FBI field office agents and school administrators with his efforts resulting in participation of schools from 40 states.

“It’s so critical to educate students how to recognize and react to online dangers,” said Jeff Alfrey, principal at Harry Andersen Middle School in Omaha (NE), which won a challenge in May. “The program was easy to implement, and I was amazed with the tremendous enthusiasm our students displayed because of the competitive element.”

Principal Alfrey has become a program advocate, and he’s far from alone as public and private figures are helping expand the program to more schools.

Judge Marilyn Milian, the former Florida state circuit judge currently presiding over the popular television show The People’s Court, is a spokesperson and has recorded a Public Service Announcement (PSA), which airs on the show’s affiliate stations.

Howard Graff, Chairman of the Illinois Masonic Charities Fund, is now using his national and international network to help promote FBI-SOS.

“Children need this program,” said Graff. “Every child can benefit from learning how to protect themselves online, and we want everyone to take advantage of it.”

“We look forward to more media and public learning about our program,” said Hulce. “It’s a very rewarding program for me to promote.”


Source: newswire

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