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Hi all,

I think it is very important for our communities to know what is currently
happening in Congress. There are currently two bills pending in Congress
that will provide funding for Internet safety education.

HR 4134 passed the House and is now in the Senate. HR 4134 would provide $25
million over the next five years for one organization - I-Safe. It will
provide an equal amount for everyone else - all of whom must go through a
competitive grant process. There is great value to a competitive grant
process - It can help to weed out the bad programs.

S 2344 has been introduced in the Senate. This bill will provide an
equivalent amount of money $10 million each year for 5 years. But ALL of
these funds will be administered through a competitive grant process.

Most of you on these lists know that my concerns about the I-Safe curriculum
are grounded in the degree of fear-mongering and simplistic solutions they
offer. But even if you happen to like the I-Safe curriculum, I hope that you
understand that any organization that has guaranteed funding, especially at
that level, has no incentive whatsoever to be attentive to the needs and
interests of educators who are delivering these programs to students.
Guaranteed funding takes away the need to remain innovative.

Let me also make it clear. I am a creator of of Internet safety education
resources - so I do have an interest in this legislation. I would MUCH
rather contract with organizations state and community that  are providing
the education services to students, parents, and teachers than feed at the
federal funding feeding trough. I personally think this is the best way to
achieve excellence.

I-Safe has been sending out email messages to everyone and anyone who has
had an association with their program (Hmm, what are the rules on 501C3's
and not engaging in lobbying?) This message states:

Dear i-SAFE Supporter,
Your help is urgently needed to pass legislation that will allow i-SAFE to
continue to provide you with free curriculum, training, and other Internet
safety materials. H.R. 4134 was unanimously approved by the U.S. House of
Representatives, and sent to the Senate. It is important that you contact
your U.S. Senators to voice your support for H.R. 4134.
Please phone or fax your Senators in their Washington, D.C. offices TODAY
and tell them you support i-SAFE and want them to vote to pass H.R. 4134.
Remember, phoning and faxing are the best ways to get your message through,

Other organizations that are engaged in Internet safety education have
signed a joint letter urging the Senate to adopt S 2344 and reject 4134.
This will be posted online sometime soon and I will provide a link. Here is
one section of that joint statement:

Open competition returns the best value to the government and the public.
Our organizations learn together as we seek to better understand the issues
and concerns related to youth risk online, and each offer critical elements
of a larger protective network of supports that‹only when taken together‹can
hope to stem the tide of harmful and significant Internet risks. Authorizing
such significant and disproportionate funding to only one organization, as
written in H.R. 4134, is not good public policy and would undermine our
proactive and innovative efforts.

I will add, that many of us in this field do cooperate. I-Safe is unique in
that it does not engage in such level of cooperation - and there are some
significant reasons for this that I will not go into.

So PLEASE DO contact your senators. Please tell them to support S2433 to
support effective Internet safety education and to reject HR 4134 as an
inappropriate non-competitive authorization.

Please do so today or early next week. The Senate Judiciary Committee is
expected to take up these bills next week. You can find the contact

I recommend telephone or FAX. They get too many bulk emails.


Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use

Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats: Responding to the Challenge of Online Social
Aggression, Threats, and Distress (Research Press)

Cyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy Teens: Helping Young People Learn to Use the
Internet Safely and Responsibly (Jossey-Bass)

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