Former District Attorney Daniel F. Conley announced the relaunch of his office’s internet safety training program – now called STOP BLOCK and TALK – designed to ensure kids know how to safely navigate the online world and help parents understand and communicate with their kids about the risks they face online.
The program will make a stop this fall at the McKinley South End Academy in the South End.
Since 2011, Conley’s Director of Youth Safety and Outreach Jacquelyn Lamont has presented the CyberPeace internet safety training she created to kids, parent groups, and professionals who work with young people across Suffolk County. The program has been presented to thousands of students each year since that time. The rebranded program continues to focus on kids’ online safety, but has changed through the years as new risks have emerged with new technology.
“Young people have the world at their fingertips today,” Conley said. “They have access to information, educational resources, and more ways to communicate with friends than many parents can count. But those avenues also expose them to risks that range from cyberbullies to online predators. Just as apps, games, and communication are evolving, so is our internet safety training to ensure that kids and adults are prepared to confront the challenges of a connected world.”
The name STOP BLOCK and TALK reflects the steps Conley’s staff teaches kids to take when confronted by inappropriate behavior online:
- STOP the conversation if someone is being rude or asks for any personal information or images,
- BLOCK the person behaving inappropriately, and
- TALK to a parent or trusted adult.
A variation of the curriculum designed for parents helps adults wrap their heads around newer technology, sites, and programs and encourages them keep an open line of communication with their children when it comes to online safety. Whether kids encounter unsafe scenarios online or off, the most important thing parents can do is to make sure kids know that they can talk to their parents about anything that’s happened without judgment or punishment.
Lamont will begin presenting the program under the STOP BLOCK and TALK moniker next week. This fall, the program will visit Winthrop Middle School, McKinley South End Academy, Roxbury Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and German International School Boston, with presentations at other schools and youth organizations anticipated.
Schools and youth programs in Suffolk County that would like to present the program to students, parent groups, or staff can find more information at http://www.suffolkdistrictattorney.com/stop-block-and-talk/ or email [email protected].