addresses Internet safety for children
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[August 22, 2008]
CHICAGO -- On Thursday, Gov. Rod
R. Blagojevich signed legislation to help protect children from the
dangers of the Internet. The new law requires school districts to
incorporate Internet safety into their curriculums, to be taught at
least once every school year to students in third grade or higher.
"The Internet offers a wealth of valuable information, but it can be
a dangerous place for kids," Blagojevich said. "This new law will
help teach our students the dangers that can be lurking on the
Internet, and how to avoid them."
State Sen. Terry Link and state
Rep. Tom Cross co-sponsored
Senate Bill 2512, which received overwhelming support in the
Illinois Senate (55-1-0) and House (106-8-0).
"The Internet is a wonderful tool and resource for children and
adults. Unfortunately, this technology is also being utilized by
adult predators seeking to gain access to unsuspecting children,"
said Cross, the House sponsor. "While our children are being
introduced to computers and the Internet in the classroom, it makes
sense for our schools, as a component of computer education, to
provide basic instruction on how to remain safe while using the
The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2009, and provides that the
Internet safety curriculums in schools will begin with the 2009-2010
school year. The bill allows the age-appropriate unit of instruction
to be incorporated into the current courses of study regularly
taught in the districts' schools.
"Educating our children on the dangers of the Internet is the
responsible thing to do," said Link, Senate sponsor of the bill.
"With the Internet becoming more available every day, it is
important that children know the risks that come along with this
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Blagojevich's administration has previously taken strides in
protecting children from the dangers that can be found on the
Internet. Illinois' partnership with the Netsmartz national Internet
safety program was a governor's initiative that was launched in
2006. The Netsmartz program is currently used by the Illinois State
Police in Illinois schools, and this new law will help schools build
upon these efforts.
"Inappropriate use of the Internet can expose our children to
significant dangers," said Illinois State Police Director Larry G.
Trent. "I commend Gov. Blagojevich and the Legislature for this
proactive measure that will help to ensure our children's safety
each time they go online."
Earlier this week, Blagojevich signed
Senate Bill 2426 into law,
which clarifies the definition of harassing someone by using
electronic communication such as the Internet and text messaging and
enables the prosecution of someone who anonymously bullies in this
capacity. The "Cyberbullying Law" takes effect Jan. 1, 2009.
article posted Tuesday.)
[Text from file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]