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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357

Attorney General Launches Statewide Internet Safety Initiative

AG Gansler at CLICKS press conferenceBALTIMORE, MD (May 24, 2007) - Helping to protect Maryland’s children from the potential dangers of the Internet, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today launched his statewide Internet safety initiative, “C.L.I.C.K.S.” - Community Leadership In Cyber Knowledge and Safety. C.L.I.C.K.S. is an educational outreach program designed to equip law enforcement and school officials with the resources to teach students and parents about Internet safety.

AG Gansler teaches children about internet safetyHeld at Waverly Elementary School in Ellicott City, Attorney General Gansler led a 30 minute presentation created by the NetSmartz Workshop, an interactive, educational safety resource developed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The fourth graders were introduced to characters like “Nettie” and “Webster,” a brother and sister team who teach them about “WizzyWigs,” the characters that represent the possible dangers to children online. From characters like “Hot Head,” who uses mean and ugly language, to “Follow You Fiona,” who wants to know personal information about you and your family, children learned about the many dangers online and the rules to remember if they are confronted with these dangers.

“The Internet provides endless benefits, but parents and children must know how to protect themselves from the many dangers that lurk in the anonymous world of the Web,” said Attorney General Gansler. “By providing law enforcement, librarians and teachers with free, user-friendly resources, we will be able to spread the message of Internet safety to a much larger audience.”

Partnering with NetSmartz, Attorney General Gansler’s C.L.I.C.K.S. initiative promotes safe and responsible use of the Internet and other technologies through “train-the-trainer” sessions. Conducted by Internet safety experts, the sessions will be open to educators, law enforcement and community leaders, who will be taught to lead presentations to youth and other stakeholders. The NetSmartz presentations are tailored to the attention span, maturity and interest of the audience.

The first “train-the-trainer” session will be held on July 31st, 2007 at Howard High School in Ellicott City. The event will consist of two separate 90 minute training sessions, one in the early afternoon and one in the evening.

In addition to partnering with NetSmartz, Attorney General Gansler is working with Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland State Police, Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task force, Maryland PTA, Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, and University of Maryland Educational Technology Outreach.

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