Friday, August 21, 2009

Suicide message hits home for Army general - State & Regional - Wire -

Suicide message hits home for Army general - State & Regional - Wire -

Anderson Cooper 360: Blog Archive - Harassment and Cyberstalking explained « - Blogs from

Anderson Cooper 360: Blog Archive - Harassment and Cyberstalking explained by Parry Aftab for Anderson Cooper« - Blogs from

Parry talks with CBS News about the model who sued google to get information about anonymous blogger

Parry on Today Show this week offering advice on teen who copied a youtube video by setting himself on fire.

model talks exclusively to Diane Sawyer
Parry Aftab provides advice on good morning america segment

How to Be Safe Online - Facebook Breakup Tips -

How to Be Safe Online - Facebook Breakup Tips -

E-Learning Journeys: Digital Citizenship and Cyberbullying

E-Learning Journeys: Digital Citizenship and CyberbullyingAll the way from China!

Parents and Educators Should Focus on Internet Safety Education, Say Online Experts |

Parents and Educators Should Focus on Internet Safety Education, Say Online Experts |

Model Forces Google To Reveal Blogger's Identity -

Model Forces Google To Reveal Blogger's Identity -

Expert urges cyberbullying policies | Pine Journal | Cloquet, Minnesota

Expert urges cyberbullying policies | Pine Journal | Cloquet, Minnesota

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Facebook Boosts Search Savvy - PC World

Facebook Boosts Search Savvy - PC WorldI advise everyone to "google" themselves and their kids. They can spot what is being said about them that way. One of the problems with this is that Facebook was not fully "google-able."

With all the talk about Facebook taking on Google in search, I think many of the tech experts have forgotten the difference between Facebook's info and Google's. Facebook has people, lots and lots of people. While Google owns search, Facebook owns people info. 93% of the teens we polled in the US have a Facebook.
There have to be a few other things before it can reach full potential. 1. the privacy settings need to have more granularity (item by item settings instead of global settings) and 2. they have to be convinced to expose more information to the public and search by using fewer or more carefully defined rivacy settings.

When seeking info, in depth, about individuals, Facebook and its new Friendfinder might be more powerful than Google. And when it comes to travel, shopping and other "thing" oriented search Google will rule.

I wonder when I will start telling people to "Facebook" someone.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Salmon Museum in New Brunswick, Canada

Salmon MuseumWhenever I find special places, offline and online, I try and share them. This is the Salmon Museum outside of Miramichi, NB, Canada (salmon country). They just started a new program to allow families, scholls and companies to adopt a baby salmon (a "parr"). You can visit the museum and net your own "parr", name it and transfer it ot the adjoining tank for Ca$15. This includes a picture and an adoption certificate. You can have them net one for you, if you aren't there in person. (Tell them to grab the shiny spotted green one I couldn't catch :-)). The netted "parrs" will then be released into the river when old enough and hopefully survive to travel around the world and back.
Only 1 in 100 survives. So this conservation project is crucial.
In New Brunswick, some of the top salmon fishing lodges in the world and fishing camps teach VIPs and families alike to fish wild salmon. They use a fish and release program that allows you the challenge of fishing wild salmon, but saves their lives, allowing them to grow and thrive on the Miramichi Rivers and world oceans.
Got a spare Ca$15? You can adopt them online. Got a spare Ca$45? You can adopt three and get one free.
If you can, visit the salmon musuem. If you can't make it there, support salmon conservation and give your kids a chance ot learn about ecology, sealife preservation and sporting all at once.
I adopted 4.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Stop Cyberbullying Toolkit - free for schools

WiredSafety’s StopCyberbullying Toolkit
The volunteers at WiredSafety have worked cyberharassment cases since 1995, 18 months after the launch of the web. Hundreds of thousands of adult and young victims of online harassment and cyberbullying have turned to WiredSafety for help. It has helped educate families on hate and bigotry online and ways to use technology safely and responsibly. And, over the years, their unique perspective coupled with Parry’s expertise as one of the world's first cyberlawyers has helped guide policymakers, schools, families, NGOs, law enforcement, and the Internet industry on these issues.
But the problems online are growing faster than either Parry, our volunteers or WiredSafety as a whole, can deal with. That’s why the StopCyberbullying Toolkit was developed. By putting the tools, programs, and proven approaches into the hands of schools and community organizations, we can tackle the issues and forge solutions by working together. It’s a cyberwar and school professionals, community leaders and all young people who care are our cyberarmy.
Cyberbullying is when one minor uses technology as a weapon to target another young person. In polls of 45,000 students from North America conducted by, 85% of middle school students reported being cyberbullied at least once in 2007. In some schools the percentage of students reporting having been targeted by a cyberbully ran as high as 97%. Yet only 5% said they would entrust their parents with the fact that they are being targeted by a cyberbully.
Students have shared 65 different ways you can use a cell phone to cyberbully someone. And handheld gaming devices are common tools for harassment. Students as young as those in second grade (7 year olds) are learning about cyberbullying the hard way. Often before they know how to use the technologies, they are forced to contend with mean messages, lewd language, and threats. When asked to describe cyberbullying, second graders in Long Island, New York, explained that extortion, manipulated pictures, ID theft, hacking, and text-bullying were commonplace. At the same time, they gave more than 20 reasons why children will not confide in their parents when targeted. That list has now grown to 56.
Any vulnerability is exploited, from racial, ethnic or physical ability differences, to sexual preferences, religion and economic levels. Teens around the world engaging in “sexting” (where they take nude or sexually explicit images of themselves and text it or otherwise share it with the person they are dating, would like to date or everyone who is interested). WiredSafety has been involved in “sexting” cases from Mexico to Egypt to the UK and Canada, as well as within the US. It has become one of the fasest growing weapons in the teen bully arsenals, where the image is release and spread to hurt the victim and in some cases extort the target.
Sadly, the young people rarely know where to turn for help. The obvious choice, their best friends, may not be the trustworthy confidants they were seeking. One young teen told Parry Aftab (WiredSafety’s founder and cybersecurity lawyer), “You never know if the cyberbully is your best friend or worst enemy. You never know if your friend is just laughing at you behind your back when you turn to her for help with something they were doing anonymously.” This creates an environment where young people have no safe place to turn, and no safe person to help alleviate their pain. That’s why WiredSafety does what it does.
The upcoming StopCyberbullying Toolkit is free for schools and for community organizations. It contains practical tips, animations, activity sheets, games and printables, a risk management guide for schools, presentation materials for parents and students, first responder guides for community policing units and school resource officers, and fun activities for students of all ages. It includes materials for student handouts, parents' awareness, and for the community at large. The materials and programs are directed at four distinct student age groups: K-4th, 5th-6th, 7th-9th, and 10th-12th grades, as well as parents, and professional development audiences. Games and educational activities are deployed to help inspire learning for all ages.
While the StopCyberbullying Toolkit provides all of the information a school or community organization needs, it also provides young people with a mission. Through the StopCyberbullying Pledge, they can take a stand against cyberbullying. By taking the pledge they promise to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. The entire StopCyberbullying program is designed to motivate schools, students, and their parents to do something, not just stand there while others are hurt. It gives them the tools and information that they need to create their own grassroots campaign and address cyberbullying and hate online wherever they find it.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sen Menendez drops a new bill on "games of skill" online



Internet poker has become a worldwide phenomenon which has continued to grow for more than a decade. It is estimated that approximately 10 to 15 million Americans play Internet poker with some regularity. The average Internet poker player spends $10 to $20 of their recreational dollars on a given poker Web site. This is less than the cost of dinner or going to the movies.

Currently, companies that offer Internet poker are licensed, regulated and taxed in foreign jurisdictions. However, to date the United States has failed to exercise oversight and control of Internet gaming even though the U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide. The millions of Americans who play Internet games of skill will benefit greatly from the additional protections U.S. regulation can provide.

This bill establishes the needed licensing and regulatory framework for the United States to exercise appropriate control and oversight over Internet poker and other games of skill that currently is lacking. This oversight includes a thorough vetting of potential licensees; mandatory implementation of technologies to protect against underage gambling and to monitor and detect individuals with excessive gaming habits; high standards to thwart fraud and abuse of customers; regulation to prevent money laundering; and, processes to prevent tax avoidance. Licensing and regulation of other gaming modalities have proven successful in protecting consumers as well as eliminating “bad actors” from the marketplace.

In addition, the bill proposes to create meaningful enforcement against Internet poker companies that seek to operate outside of the licensing process as well as companies that take unlawful Internet sports bets, or that accept bets from minors under age 21. By licensing good actors and blacklisting bad ones, the bill brings needed clarity that would allow Treasury to pursue black market sportsbooks and gambling shops.

Finally, the bill would give states and the federal government needed revenue from an industry that currently only pays taxes in foreign jurisdictions. The bill provides for the appropriate taxation of players’ net winnings as income and imposes taxes on Interne poker entities comparable to the taxes paid by other gaming entities. Conservative estimates have shown that more than $3 billion in annual revenue can be raised by licensing and regulating Internet poker.

While some might like to wipe the poker industry off the map, the reality is that internet poker has continued to thrive in the U.S. It is simply a question of whether the federal government wants to have a say in how Americans can play.

This legislation provides a licensing, regulatory and taxation framework to establish a legitimate online skill game industry in the United States, while creating enhanced enforcement against those who accept illegal Internet gambling from the United States.

• Require applicants to undergo a thorough review by the Department including the financial condition of applicant, business record, and background checks
• In addition to any further documentation requested by the Department, the applicant must submit a full financial statement, corporate structure documentation, and a certification that applicant agrees to be subject to US gambling laws.
• The burden of proof is on the licensees. The Department has wide latitude to deny licenses for anybody who they do not feel meets the criteria set by the Department for honesty, integrity, business probity, and experience, and financial capabilities facility.
• Automatic denial to anybody previously convicted anywhere in the world of gambling, financial, or information security law.
• License term will be five years in length; renewal subject to same requirements
• License will be revoked for failure to comply with any provision in this legislation, or conviction of a crime that would lead to denial of license.

• Any state or Indian tribe can opt out of regulations, and it will be illegal to accept bets from individuals residing in these jurisdictions.
• Treasury must require periodic financial reports from each licensees; and in turn submit an annual report to Congress on the status of the online skill game industry.
• Violations of this legislation will be punished by fines and prison terms of a maximum of 5 years.

This legislation directs the Department of the Treasury to develop the following regulations that licensess must follow in order to retain their license:
• Appropriate Safeguards to ensure age verification
• Ensure bettors are physically located in a jurisdiction where gambling is legal.
• Ensure all taxes due are collected
• Safeguards to combat fraud and money laundering.
• Safeguards to ensure games are fair.
• Safeguards to combat compulsive internet gambling
• Privacy safeguards for bettors
• Any other safeguards the Director of FCEN believes necessary

This legislation imposes appropriate taxes on providers of Internet games of skill, which can yield billions of needed dollars state and Federal government.
• Licensed sites must pay a 10% tax on all deposits into playing accounts, the proceeds of which are split evenly between the federal government and the government of the state where the player is situated.
• Appropriate witholding of taxes on the net winnings of players.
• Appropriate payment of corporate taxes by licensed companies.

The legislation provides unprecedented funding for programs to promote problem gambling awareness, research and treatment.
• Authorizes $200,000 per year over five years for problem gambling awareness education.
• Authorizes $4 million per year over five years for problem gambling research.
• Authorizes $10 million per year over five years for grants to help states, localities and non-profits provide treatment to individuals with gambling problems.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tom Perelli speaks at Safe and Drug-Free Schools Conference

Remarks by Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli at the National Conference for the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools
Posted : Tue, 04 Aug 2009 18:30:09 GMT
Author : U.S. Department of Justice
Category : Press Release

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 Truancy-&-crime-reax
National Harbor, Md.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following are remarks by Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli:
Good afternoon and thank you. I am very happy to be joining you today on behalf of the Department of Justice. It is great to see Bill Modzeleski continuing to lead the effort to make our schools safer, as he was the last time I served in government. Bill and his office are doing great work, and I'm pleased to be with all of you here today.
I am very happy to be at here for two reasons. First and foremost, I'm a parent. I have two sons, and, like all parents, I want them to have every opportunity in life. Although they aren't of school age yet, I know that education will be their key, as it was for me. What all of you in this room are doing matters to me personally.
What you are doing also matters to me professionally. It isn't often that, as Associate Attorney General, I get to walk into a room full of educators and education advocates. I think that in many communities, and for many Americans, what the Department does and what so many of you do are thought of as opposite ends of the spectrum. The theory goes that students have had to make choices and they can either make good choices, and succeed in school, or they can make bad choices, and end up in the criminal justice system. The theory would follow that you take care of the good kids and get them to college, and we take care of the bad kids and get them off the streets.
One of the reasons I am here today is because you and I know that that's not how the world works. People who actually work in law enforcement, and people who actually work in our nation's schools, know that our jobs are closely interwoven. When their neighborhoods and homes don't feel safe, our children have a tough time paying attention in school. And when our children are not engaged at school, they're going to be much more likely to get into trouble outside of it.
Attorney General Janet Reno really drove this point home to me when I worked for her back in the 1990s. Attorney General Reno had been a prosecutor down in Florida, where she had taken a leading role in reforming the juvenile justice system there, and had worked actively on issues that affect children. I remember that once, when she was on a long plane flight, she took out a pen and paper and started to outline the elements of law enforcement policy, all the factors that go into making a community safe.
A number of the things on that list focused on what we think of as traditional law enforcement issues: Do we have enough officers on the streets? Are those officers using the right techniques? Are we being smart in how we prosecute crime?
But what stood out to me about that list was how many of the elements on that list were things that most people never think of as law enforcement issues. On her list -- Head Start, available childcare for working families. Indeed, she started her list with pre-natal care, which she viewed as the first step in ensuring safe communities. Wherever one thinks we should start, we all know that it takes a lot more than police, prosecutors and prisons to make a community safe. You need people who watch out for each other and who have a stake in their community. You need an economic base that keeps people engaged and relatively free from need. And you need safe schools.
Much of what we are doing in today's Justice Department is based on our recognition that we need broad partnerships to make our communities safe, and that good law enforcement is essential to building healthy communities. That means revitalizing the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services -- or COPS -- which was so successful at bringing down crime in the 1990s and which, in those years, also funded School Resource Officers (SROs) to help make our schools safer. That means re-building the partnerships with state and local authorities who are the first responders to most crime in this country and who are best positioned to make our communities safer. And that means re-engaging with our partners in health care, education, and other areas not traditionally thought of as part of law enforcement.
We are lucky to have, in Eric Holder, an Attorney General who has always understood these connections. Some of the best things we are doing today on this issue are things that Eric Holder started ten years ago, when he served as Deputy Attorney General. He started up the Justice Department's Safe Start Initiative, which looks to find new, evidence-based ways to deliver better services to children who are exposed to violence. That program takes a multi-dimensional approach to protecting our youth, creating partnerships among all the people who have interests in protecting children. Improving the services being offered to children who are exposed to violence takes more than our law enforcement and judicial resources. It requires us to tap into our early childhood education, our mental health, and our prevention-of-substance-abuse resources.
Attorney General Holder really drives home to all of us that when we think about law enforcement, we need to think broadly. You all practice that lesson every day, working hard to keep kids safe at school. I know that your goal is education, but schools also play a key role in law enforcement in any number of ways. I want to focus in today on one aspect of what you do in particular, that evidence shows is critical both for future student success and for overall community safety: the challenge of keeping kids in school.
Keeping kids in school matters because as we all know, excessive absence is a predictor of poor achievement and higher dropout rates. That matters not just because we want every child to have every opportunity to succeed, but because we want our communities safe. The evidence is clear: truants are at greater risk of facing a lifetime of problems. Missing school is a good indicator that a student will become delinquent, use alcohol and drugs, commit violence, or become involved in a gang. These aren't just young people out having some harmless fun. Though they may not realize it, their behavior and actions have serious -- and destructive -- consequences. As one California prosecutor put it, "I've never seen a gang member who wasn't a truant first."
The prosecutor knew what she was talking about, because the research bears out her concerns. A study of 12- to 15-year-olds in Denver, Colo. for the American Society of Criminology found that even so-called minor truants are four times as likely to commit serious assaults and five times as likely to commit serious property crimes as other students. For chronic truants -- students who miss more than nine days in a given year -- the numbers are even starker. A student who misses more than nine days in a year is 12 times as likely to commit serious assaults and more than 21 times likely to commit serious property crimes.
Truancy is a similarly strong indicator of drug use. A study in Rochester, N.Y. from the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs found that minor truants are seven times as likely to begin using marijuana by age 14, and chronic truants are 16 times as likely.
And it doesn't stop there. Truants are more likely to go to prison, they're more likely to become pregnant as teenagers, they're more likely to have marital problems as adults. And the list goes on.
And if you're thinking that these figures just affect a few troubled kids, think again. Habitual or chronic truancy is all too common. A recent Open Society Institute analysis of students in Baltimore, Md. found that 9 percent of all public school students were deemed habitually truant, meaning they were illegally absent 20 percent or more of the time. In Wisconsin, where habitual truancy is defined as five or more illegal absences in a semester, 45 percent of students fell into this category according to news reports.
So what do we do about it? How do we get kids back in school? And not just back in school, but engaged?
The first thing we need to do is to get the message out that school is important. This means making sure that parents understand the risks of truancy, and holding them responsible when their kids are absent. And I'm aware that it's not always sheer parental apathy that's the problem. Often, it's an issue of trying to meet other needs, particularly in some difficult economic times -- whether it's a parent relying on an older child to baby-sit a younger child so the parent can go to work, or maybe even concern about the safety of a child who has to walk through a dangerous neighborhood in order to get to school. We know that parents are facing tough choices and priorities. We need to work to make sure that when they have to make those choices, they understand and appreciate the consequences of staying away from school -- and that they have the services they need, so that they can make the choice to come to school.
I don't want to make excessive demands of our school administrators and educators, because I know that we already expect so much of them, but it's important that school officials reach out to parents. They need to let them know, first of all, that their kids aren't coming to school. We can't forget that, in many cases, parents don't know what their kids are up to. And schools also need to let parents know that they will be held accountable and that there will be consequences if their children skip school. This is, after all, not just an issue of one child's occasional absences; it's a serious matter of public safety. What we learned in the 1990s was that, for most young people who end up in the criminal justice system, there were dozens and sometimes more than a hundred opportunities for intervention -- warning signs to which we could have responded, and points at which, with a proper response, we might have been able to change the future of that young person for the better. We have to do a better job of responding to these warning signs.
While parents are perhaps the most important part of the solution, they are not the only ones who need to get involved. We need a multi-tiered approach, involving school officials, community agencies, and, yes, law enforcement. School Resource Officers -- or SROs -- are an important part of this, and not just because having an officer close by the scene of the crime can make a difference. SROs are also doing classroom teaching on subjects from how to resist gangs to the consequences of shoplifting. They're mentoring students. Sometimes they are just going jogging with the track team. And we see that where you have a SRO, you have increased levels of trust in the police. What you're getting, among other things, is one more adult that the child knows and trusts at that school --and one more adult who the child knows cares whether the child shows up for class each day.
We need these School Resource Officers and school officials and parents all right on top of the problem, because we need to identify our future truants the first chance we can get. There's often a disconnect between our perception of truancy's causes and the reality. Many people ascribe truancy to the mercurial behavior of adolescents. They suddenly become bored with school or fall in with the wrong crowd. So some administrators and policymakers assume that there is no way to predict if a child will become a truant.
In fact, research shows just the opposite. There's a study that some of you may know about involving about 14,000 students in Philadelphia, called "An Early Warning System." Researchers followed these students from the time they entered the sixth grade until the time they would be expected to graduate six years later. They specifically looked for signs that would show at least a 75 percent probability of dropping out of school. The findings are fascinating. What the researchers found is that there were four signals that indicated that a student had a three in four chance of dropping out in those next six years. The signals were -- and this is in the sixth grade, remember -- that these students had: A final grade of F in math; A final grade of F in English; Attendance below 80 percent for the year; and A final "unsatisfactory" behavior mark in at least one class.
If a student had just one of these indicators, there was a 75 percent chance that he or she would eventually drop out of school. Students with more than one of these signals had an even greater probability of dropping out.
So let's put all of this together, and figure out where we have to go: We know that when a child misses school, the likelihood that the child is going to go on to commit serious crimes starts increasing pretty quickly. And we know that there are things we can look at in sixth grade to figure out whether that kid is going to end up dropping out. Let's put it simply: If we're going to keep kids out of jail, we need to get to them while they're young. And we all have a role to play in that. The question is -- how do we do it?
We know that there are strategies that work in identifying truancy problems early, and in finding solutions. We know that continual monitoring, contact and home visits of families can be enormously effective in reducing chronic absenteeism. We know that a continuum of long-term, multi-disciplinary services, including family support and case management, is essential. And we know that using the monitoring authority of the courts can be very effective in some circumstances.
I'll highlight a couple of programs that have shown us some positive results. The Truancy Reduction Demonstration Program is one. That program, I should mention, is funded by our Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, in partnership with our hosts here, the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. It employs all these strategies -- monitoring, contact, home visits, family support, and yes, the authority of the courts -- and has shown some great successes. The average unexcused absent rate for truants dropped by half after three months of intervention -- a drop that we now know is correlated with reductions in crime. To take one sample site -- the truancy and diversion program in Jacksonville, Fla. -- over a 10-year period, the number of juveniles sentenced to state prison dropped from 47 to 5, and the number sentenced to jail dropped from 201 to 22. Again, this program and others like it are successful because they rely on a range of strategies, and they involve partners from across the spectrum.
I should emphasize here that I'm not trying to put the solution off on educators and social workers. Just as truancy has consequences over in the legal system, there also ways to address it in the legal system. I want to highlight one program in particular here. It's the Truancy Intervention Project -- or TIP -- in Fulton County, Ga. This isn't one of the Truancy Reduction Program sites being funded by the Justice Department and the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, but it's a great example of how the justice system, working with schools and the community, can be effective in getting at truancy and keeping kids out of trouble.
TIP is a partnership between the Fulton County Juvenile Court and the Atlanta Bar Association, aimed at providing early intervention to children in Atlanta Public and Fulton County Schools who are chronically absent and who either become involved with the court or are referred to early intervention at the school level.
TIP gets referrals from school social workers, and then pairs trained volunteers, some of whom are attorneys, with children and their families. The social workers and the TIP volunteer then meet with the student and the family to develop a plan designed to lead to solid attendance. TIP has served more than 5,000 children over the years, and has had some remarkable success stories -- like for the third-grader who was having attendance problems. TIP and its volunteers worked out arrangements for the third-grader to spend school-weeks with her grandmother, who could make sure that she got to school on time. This is a student whom TIP caught early, before the full implications of truancy had become apparent. But TIP has also worked later on: like the young woman who had sporadic attendance for over a year, and whose truancy had escalated to some pretty serious offenses. Hers had become a familiar face around Juvenile Court. She got involved in TIP, and there, she said, "You have to decide for yourself that your life is worth something, and for me that meant getting an education." She graduated from high school and went on to college on a full scholarship.
TIP has had an incredible impact on many lives. One of its most notable aspects is its Early Intervention program, which they instituted in elementary schools. The success rate -- which is based on the number of children who are not referred to juvenile court after their involvement with TIP -- is greater than 95 percent.
And let me emphasize, this focus on truancy has had real consequences for the criminal justice system. It is estimated that by keeping these kids out of juvenile court, Fulton County has saved more than $4.2 million in court-appointed attorney fees alone, not to mention the other more indirect costs associated with juvenile crime and delinquency.
We need more programs like these, programs that identify problems early on and jump in to help with all available resources.
And while you are working to keep kids in school and out of the criminal justice system, we in law enforcement need to be keeping your kids safe so they can focus on learning.
On the whole, schools remain a place of relative safety. Students experience fewer crimes on school grounds than away from school. But the numbers are still too high. About 1.7 million students age 12 to 18 were victims of crime at school in 2006, 767,000 of them victims of violent crime. And according to the 2005-2006 School Survey on Crime and Safety, almost 80 percent of public schools have had a violent crime incident during the year.
So while you are working overtime to keep tabs on students, to talk to their families, and to make sure that the kids who are most at risk get the support they need to help them come to school, we in law enforcement are watching for the next threat, preventing every harm we can, and helping heal the harms that have been done. We know that the greatest threat is no longer just the biggest kid on the playground. That's why we're taking an expansive view of what it takes to keep kids safe and in school.
It's why, together with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, we recently awarded almost $33 million in grants under the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative to prevent violence and to improve attendance, achievement and mental health in our nation's schools. That's a program that takes a coordinated, integrated approach from the state. Educational agencies partner up with local law enforcement to apply for these grants, which they then use for anything from anti-bullying programs to rehabilitative justice programs, where a prosecutor comes into the school to develop the kinds of peer juries that are used to help groups of young people come to terms with the harms they inflict on each other and themselves.
It's also why the Justice Department is developing task forces to fight the internet predators who seek to do our children harm. It's why we're developing curriculum, like the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program, to help keep kids out of gangs.
We do all of this because we know that just as good schools are part of keeping a neighborhood safe, safe neighborhoods are a key part of keeping our kids in school and learning. We know this is a team effort, and if we try to divide things up as education issues or law enforcement issues, we are going to lose our children. If you want to keep kids out of jail, let's do what it takes to keep them in class. It's the right thing for our and their futures, and it's the right thing for our cities, towns and villages.
I want to thank those of you who have seen the importance of this issue, and who have been working to get kids back in school and engaged. Your work will pay huge dividends - for thousands of young people, for the safety of your communities, and for the future of our country.
Thank you.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Stop H*Commerce - putting a face on cybercrime

Stop H*CommerceToo often we ignore accounts of cybercrimes. They don't happen to us. We're not rich enough, or famous enough. We're too smart. This new McAfee documentary puts a face on the problem. Real people, not rich and famous ones, are caught in the net.
They're free and online.
Check them out.