A recent survey reflects some startling teen online behavior that will have lasting consequences:
-- 71 percent of teen girls and 67 percent of teen boys who have sent/posted sexually suggestive content (also known as "sexting") say they have sent it to a boyfriend/girlfriend. -- 51 percent of teen girls say pressure from a guy is a reason they send sexually suggestive messages or images. Only 18 percent of teen boys cite pressure from female counterparts as a reason. -- 1 in 5 teens say they've "sexted" even though the majority knows it could be a crime.
Survey Statistics: The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (1300 teens)
Sexting is just one of the aspects of digital reputation that can have long-term consequences as colleges, potential employers, friends and family members check an individual's online reputation. While the resources address the behaviors that can have negative consequences, the materials focus heavily on providing tips and tools to help teens create a positive digital reputation that will benefit them in the future.
"The Internet is a wonderful tool for students, making research and communication available on a global scale," said Brent Olson, AT&T assistant vice president of Public Policy and former chair and current vice-chair of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI). "Of course, that access comes with challenges, so students need to learn how to create a positive digital dossier that will serve them now and in the years to come."
The resources, stressing the importance of privacy and online reputation, will be distributed to over 2,000 school counselors at the conference and will reach over 25,000 school counselors nationwide. Educators will also receive professional development instruction by Davina Pruitt (Univ. of MD), an expert in the measurement of online education effectiveness and behavioral modification.
"We appreciate the efforts of iKeepSafe and AT&T to provide educators with critical resources bridging the gap of understanding and providing essential training and materials allowing educators to confidently address security and digital reputation in the classroom," said Jim Bierma, ASCA president. "These two topics are leading concerns of our association members."
"It's critical that students understand the important role that digital reputation plays in their future opportunities," said Marsali Hancock, iKeepSafe president. "It can either serve as a liability or a benefit for future opportunities. The Project PRO resources help educate and inform to create a generation of responsible, resilient, and ethical cyber-citizens."
In addition to online safety services, AT&T provides free education programs for children, parents, communities and seniors. Materials and more information can be found at www.att.com/safety.
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About the Internet Keep Safe Coalition (www.iKeepSafe.org)
The Internet Keep Safe Coalition is a broad partnership of governors, first spouses or attorneys general from all 50 states, the FBI, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, the NEA, National PTA and corporate sponsors, dedicated to keeping children safe online. The Coalition provides parent tutorials and educational resources, including the Faux Paw the Techno Cat(TM) Internet safety series of books and animated films for children. Coalition materials are distributed throughout the United States with pilot programs worldwide, including China, India and Australia.
About theAmericanSchoolCounselor Association
The American School Counselor Association (www.schoolcounselor.org) is a worldwide nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Va. Founded in 1952, ASCA supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they not only achieve success in school but are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. The association provides professional development, publications and other resources, research and advocacy to 25,000 professional school counselors around the globe.