West Chester, Pa (March 24, 2023) – Parents and guardians who are interested in learning how to better protect their children online can attend a free virtual summit on Thursday, March 30, 2023, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. 

The Chester County Safe Schools Summit: Parenting in a Digital World will teach parents about current social media apps and platforms, increase their awareness of digital interaction threats, and identify steps they can take to keep their children safe.

The event, coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit, will feature presentations from Detective Bernard Martin of the Chester County District Attorney’s Office and Danielle Moore, an education and outreach specialist for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Martin and Moore will explore the digital connections children make through social media, gaming systems, and various online applications. There will also be time allotted for a question and answer session. 

“It seems that every day there are new apps, social media trends, digital platforms, and opportunities to connect online. Unfortunately, with those opportunities comes the potential for danger – be it from predators, cyberbullies, or scammers,” said Comitta, who serves on the Senate Education Committee. “Knowledge is power. And it’s important that parents are informed, educated, and empowered to prepare their kids to safely navigate the digital world.”

“With the onslaught of technology advancements comes the increased opportunity for predators to prey on children. Parents, guardians, teachers, and the community must become aware of the dangers living right through the screen. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC), our Child Abuse Unit, and law enforcement throughout the county are working tirelessly to track down these predators and keep our kids safe. This summit is an excellent way to learn concrete examples of how we can protect them from harm,” said Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan

“The internet can be abused to anonymously victimize our children,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry. “Young people are going to be online and the best way to protect them is to teach them how to protect themselves. My Office is here to help. You can reach out to our staff for trainings and with any questions you may have on the phone, online, or via social media.”

“The safety of students ranges from ensuring the physical security of school buildings to providing parents with the tools needed to support their children at home. Educating and empowering parents about internet safety is crucial in today’s digital age and by fostering a culture of awareness and responsibility, parents can create a safer online environment for their children and ensure that they use the internet responsibly,” said Dr. George F. Fiore, CCIU Executive Director. “It takes a village, and I am grateful for the collaboration between our legislature, educators, law enforcement and district attorney’s office so that we all can best prepare our children to stay safe online.” 

According to the Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, one in five children, ages 10 to 17, received unwanted sexual solicitations online.

To register for the Chester County Safe School Summit, click here or visit www.cciu.org

If you cannot participate in the summit, a recording of it will be made available afterward.