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H.R.3222 - Adolescent Web Awareness Requires Education Act
To promote Internet safety education and cybercrime prevention initiatives, and for other purposes.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(1) The Internet is an invaluable tool that is critical to the ability of the Nation to compete in a global economy. The Internet provides instant access to research and boundless information and connects individuals around the world.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) About 93 percent of youth ages 12 through 17 years use online services regularly and nearly 45 percent of children ages 3 to 11 years will use the Internet on a monthly basis in 2009. Eighty-nine percent of teens have a profile on social networking sites. Eighty percent of teens ages 13 through 17 years use cell phones, most of which have built-in cameras.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Bullying in schools can take many forms, including sending insulting, threatening, or offensive messages via Internet sites, email, instant messaging, cell phone text messaging, telephone, or any other electronic messaging system.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(4) In a recent survey, 1 in 5 teenagers stated that they had used their cell phones to send explicit photos of themselves to a peer, a practice commonly known as ‘sexting’. In most States, such conduct can subject young adults to felony child pornography charges and the potential punishment of registering as a sex offender.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) The Internet has facilitated the growth of a multibillion dollar global market for child pornography, far exceeding the capacity of law enforcement to respond at the Federal, State, and local level.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) Internet safety education, coupled with technology tools, is the most effective way to resolve and prevent these crimes and other dangers committed on the Internet and in other new media.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) According to an empirical study of 1,379 fourth grade students in Virginia, the first State to mandate Internet safety education in its schools, the students improved their responses to 8 of 10 Internet safety scenarios after completing an Internet safety education program, with the greatest improvement in uncomfortable content and cyberbullying.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(8) The enactment of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (
(9) However, less than 25 percent of educators feel comfortable teaching students how to protect themselves from online predators, bullies, and identity thieves, according to a recent study by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Educational Technology Policy, Research, and Outreach. The same study found that 90 percent of educators have received less than 6 hours of professional development on issues related to online security in the past year. As a result, many students receive little or no education on safe and responsible use of the Internet and other new media.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(10) The widespread use of the Internet, cell phones, interactive gaming, and other electronic communication devices by children both inside and outside of schools suggests that acceptable use policies and filtering alone cannot resolve Internet safety concerns and that a greater focus on education would be beneficial.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(11) In a national poll on children’s health, parents ranked Internet safety fifth among their top health concerns for children. Yet according to a Common Sense Media poll conducted in 2006, almost 90 percent of parents say that they lack the knowledge about how to protect their children online. For this reason, educating parents about Internet safety is key to empowering them to understand actual risks and to take an active role in protecting their children.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(12) The problem of online harassment, or cyberbullying, of youth by other youths is widespread and results in a range of children’s experiences from minor irritation to severe emotional harm. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that online harassment tends to begin in third and fourth grade, peaks in seventh and eighth grade, and continues in reduced amounts throughout high school, college, and professional school.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(13) Gang members increasingly are using the Internet as a recruitment tool to entice would-be members and as an intimidation tool to threaten rival gangs. Gang members use the Internet, in particular, to promote their message.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) establish a competitive grant program for State education agencies, local educational agencies, and nonprofit organizations to institute best practices relating to Internet education and the research-based recommendations derived from the study conducted under this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. GRANT PROGRAM.
(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to subsection (e)(1), the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, shall make grants to eligible entities to carry out an Internet safety education program.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(5) a description of how funds under the grant may be used and coordinated with Internet safety education programs being carried out on the date of enactment of this Act or other Internet safety education programs established with grants under this section;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(7) a certification that the eligible entity enforces the operation of technology protection measures under section 254(h)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934 (
(2) works in partnership with the private sector, law enforcement, the philanthropic community, the media, researchers, social services organizations, or other community-based groups;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) identify, develop, and implement Internet safety education programs, including educational technology, multimedia and interactive applications, online resources, and lesson plans;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) educate parents about teaching their children how to use the Internet and new media safely and responsibly and help parents identify and protect their children from risks relating to use of the Internet and new media;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- Before making grants under this section, and not later than 1 month after the date on which the study under paragraph (3)(A) is completed, the applicable agency heads, in consultation with education groups, internet safety groups, and other relevant experts in the field of new media and child safety, shall issue detailed guidance for the grant program under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) CONTENTS OF GUIDANCE- The grant guidance shall be implemented by the Attorney General in accordance with best practices relating to Internet education and the research-based recommendations derived from the study conducted under paragraph (3)(A).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) INITIAL RESEARCH- The Attorney General shall enter into contracts with 1 or more private companies, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations to complete a study, not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, regarding--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) ADDITIONAL RESEARCH- Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Attorney General shall enter into contracts with private companies, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations to conduct additional research regarding the issues described in subparagraph (A). Any research conducted under this subparagraph shall be included in the reports under subsection (g)(3).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(f) Technical Assistance- The Attorney General shall provide technical assistance to eligible entities that receive a grant under this section, which may include maintaining a Web site to facilitate outreach and communication among the eligible entities that receive a grant under this section.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) ELIGIBLE ENTITIES- An eligible entity that receives a grant under this section shall submit to the Attorney General and make public an annual report regarding the activities carried out using funds made available under the grant, which shall include--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) review the report under paragraph (1) submitted by each eligible entity that receives a grant under this section during the first fiscal year for which grants under this section are made; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) not later than 6 months after the date on which all reports described in subparagraph (A) are submitted, modify, as appropriate, the grant guidance based on the reports after consultation with the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) REPORTS TO CONGRESS- Not later than 27 months after the date on which the Attorney General makes the first grant under this section, and annually thereafter, the applicable agency heads shall submit to Congress a report regarding the grant program under this section, which shall include--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) the findings and conclusions of the applicable agency heads, including findings and conclusions relating to the effectiveness of Internet safety education programs carried out using a grant under this section; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.
(1) APPLICABLE AGENCY HEADS- The term ‘applicable agency heads’ means the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of Education and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) a partnership between a State educational agency and 1 or more local educational agencies (as those terms are defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (
(D) a consortium of elementary schools or secondary schools (as those terms are defined in section 9101 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (
(4) INTERNET SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM- The term ‘Internet safety education program’ means an age-appropriate, research-based program that encourages safe and responsible use of the Internet, promotes an informed, critical understanding of Internet dangers, and educates children, parents, and communities about how to prevent or respond to problems or dangers related to the Internet or new media.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(6) NONPROFIT- The term ‘nonprofit’ means an organization that is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and exempt from tax under section 501(a) of that Code.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink