On September 21, 2009, the District Attorney's Office launched a new interactive workshop on Protecting Youth on Social Networking Sites at Lenox Memorial Middle and High School. The new educational initiative was created based on overwhelming feedback from parents and guardians about their lack of knowledge and confidence to monitor their children's online activity and use of Social Networking Sites.

This workshop arms participants with the necessary skills to create and maintain their own social networking profile and provides them with an understanding of how those skills will assist them in monitoring their child's online behavior. This discussion and hands-on opportunity offers parents a personal setting to learn about this online connectivity that permeates the social culture of our youth today.

Facebook was the primary focus of the evening, as it is the largest social network world wide, with over 300 million users. Attendees received information about the background of Facebook and discussed some of the terms of service language that may be easily overlooked or commonly not read.

In an anonymous survey following the presentation, one participant commented, "This exceeded my expectations. Thanks so much for taking the time to educate us on such an important topic. It will really help me out a great deal." And the same participant also added, "We need to get this word out to everyone."

The workshop, part of the District Attorney's Community Outreach and Education Program, is one of the many social issue awareness, violence prevention and health and safety educational and enrichment programs and trainings available to schools, students, parents and community groups

For further information on this and other prevention initiatives, please call Community Outreach and Education at 413-443-5951.