Hurrah! A Better Bill out of Illinois: Internet Safety Education Act

Steve at Teach42 notes another, more sane bill introduced by an Illinois senator:

I know Will says that he thinks things may get worse before they get better, but I did notice something while exploring the Illinois General Assembly website that gives me a little bit of hope. Matt Murphy wasn’t the only one to submit an bill to protect children from the internet that day.

Senator Dan Kotowski also submitted an act, this one titled the Internet Safety Education Act. Sounds good already doesn’t it? It has the word Internet accompanied by ‘Safety’ and ‘Education’. Now, that doesn’t sound as flashy as Deleting Online Predators, or Social Networking Website Prohibition Act, but maybe something good can come of it. Let’s check out the summary.

Creates the Internet Safety Education Act to inform and protect students from inappropriate or illegal communications and solicitation and to require school districts to provide education about Internet threats and risks. Creates the Internet Safety Education Alliance under the authority of the Office of the Attorney General. Amends the State Finance Act to create the Internet Safety Education Fund. Amends the School Code to mandate the provision by every public school of instruction and discussion on effective methods by which students may recognize and report inappropriate, illegal, or threatening communications on the Internet on or before the start of the 2008-2009 school year.

You should really read through the entire bill. There’s quotable gems throughout it. For example, it states that “children have easy access to the Internet at home, school, and public places.” Acknowledging that kids access the internet in locations other than school and libraries is a pretty novel concept. Another favorite is ” Education is an effective method for preventing children from falling prey to online predators and other dangers.” So there’s actually something we can do about this besides just trying to keep our kids off the internet. Incredible!