Senator Oppenheimer Congratulates Briarcliff Middle School Students on Their "Internet Smarts"
The Senator Discusses Internet Safety with Students at Briarcliff Middle School
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck), who chairs the Senate Education Committee, recently visited the Briarcliff Middle School in Briarcliff Manor, attending a sixth grade assembly on internet safety. The assembly, which took place on October 26, 2009, focused how students can use the internet for education and enjoyment, without putting themselves at risk. Acknowledging that she grew up in an era before the internet, Senator Oppenheimer noted that the internet “is a tremendous resource, giving students instant access to information from around the world. But as powerful as the internet is as a tool for learning, it poses many dangers if not used properly.” The Senator stressed the importance of programs, such as the Internet Smarts initiative sponsored by Cablevision, in helping children to navigate cyberspace safely and to practice responsible online behavior. At the event, students tackled the issue of “cyberbullying,” discussing what they can do to make a difference. A group of sixth graders debuted their original short movie, which centered on the impact of cyberbullying. They also explained what they learned from a case study dealing with cyberbullying found on Cablevision’s Power to Learn website, www.powertolearn.com. Senator Oppenheimer then congratulated the students and presented them with their individual Internet Smarts certificates. Senator Oppenheimer thanked school officials and Cablevision for helping to equip children with the knowledge and tools to use the internet safely. “A program such as Internet Smarts is an important resource for us that helps students better understand how to handle themselves in an online environment,” said Briarcliff Middle School principal, Susan Howard. “Cablevision is committed to providing students and their families with the best skills and opportunities for a successful future,” added Trent Anderson, Vice President of Education at Cablevision. “It’s important to provide schools with a diverse range of powerful tools, including state-of-the-art technology that helps to engage and excite young minds.” Speaking with the students, the Senator encouraged them to communicate openly with their parents and teachers and to go to them for assistance if they encounter anything threatening or inappropriate while online. “In the years between my middle school years and yours, two resources have remained constant and ever-present: parents and teachers,” said Senator Oppenheimer. “In confronting the challenges and opportunities of new technology, know that you are not alone.”