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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2006
McKenna Says Parents Must Help in Fight Against Online Dangers

Program Equips Educators and Law Enforcement with Tools to Teach Internet Safety to Students

SEATTLE/SPOKANE– One in seven young people who use the Internet is solicited for sex online. One out of three are exposed to sexually explicit pictures. U.S. Attorneys James A. McDevitt and John McKay and Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna have launched a new partnership designed to help keep kids safer online by teaching them how to avoid potential online risks.

McKenna Actuality-Proud: I’m proud to work with the US Attorney’s office to offer this program for Washington state’s families and kids. (6 seconds)

The law enforcement agencies that make up the Seattle Police Department Northwest Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force are teaming up with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to implement the NetSmartz program. NetSmartz creates age-appropriate educational materials to teach children and teens rules for online safety.

NetSmartz is conducting the free train-the-trainer seminars this week in Burien and Spokane to prepare up to 400 educators and law-enforcement officers to teach Internet safety to students using NetSmartz resources. McKenna shares some tips to help parents keep their kids safe on-line:

McKenna Actuality– Tip 1: Keep your kids safe by establishing rules for Internet use and monitoring their on-line activities. (5.3 seconds)

McKenna Actuality- Tip 2: Your home computer belongs in a common room –never in the child’s bedroom– and software is available to block access to chat rooms and unwanted Web sites. (8.5 seconds)

McKenna Actuality–Tip 3: Your son or daughter probably communicates on-line with friends. Know who your children are talking to. On-line predators often pose as peers of children in order to win their victims’ trust. (11 seconds)

You can find more tips for parents and young people on the Attorney General’s Web site at: http://www.atg.wa.gov/safetynet/kids

More information:

WHAT: NetSmartz Internet safety train-the-trainer seminars and media availability (Please note that these training sessions are limited to registered attendees and are not open to the general public.)

WHEN/WHERE: Both sessions 1-4 p.m.

Spokane – Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Educational Service District 101 Conference Center, 4202 S. Regal St. This session will be broadcast via the state’s K-12 video conference system, with local educational service districts participating.

Burien – Friday, Sept. 29, at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center, 19010 First Avenue S.,

WHO:

Spokane event speakers

  • U.S. Attorney James A. McDevitt, Eastern District of Washington
  • NetSmartz Community Outreach Coordinator Michael Robins

Burien event speakers

  • Jeff Sullivan, Criminal Division Chief, U.S. Attorney Western District of Washington, and Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske will provide opening remarks.
  • Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna scheduled to provide concluding remarks.
  • Captain Greg Ayco, ICAC Task Force Commander for Washington and Alaska
  • NetSmartz Community Outreach Coordinator Michael Robins

BACKGROUND:

The NetSmartz Workshop was created by the National center for Missing & Exploited Children in partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and uses computer-based, interactive games and activities to teach students ages 5-17 how to be safer when using the Internet. For more information about the program, visit www.NetSmartz.org.

The train-the-trainer seminars are sponsored by a partnership of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, the Washington State Attorney’s General, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Educational Service District 101, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and NetSmartz. They are partly funded by the Attorney General’s Office using “cy pres” restitution for education and by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC's congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 401,200 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 122,600 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 104,900 children. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24 hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.

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For more information, contact:

  • Kristin Alexander, Public Information Officer, Washington State Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6432
  • Thomas Rice, U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Washington, (509) 353-2767
  • Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office - Western District of Washington, (206) 553-4110
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