Help Prevent Acts of Violence by Fostering Safe and Secure Digital Ecosystems for Students
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis and the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships believe that the threat of targeted violence in schools will remain as more children return to school full-time. Recently, the Surgeon General warned of an increasing youth mental health crisis, as educators, teachers, students, and schools work to mitigate the impacts of prolonged social isolation, loss of social connection, financial hardships, and other potential risk factors that may make an individual more susceptible to radicalization to violence.
Individuals who engage in targeted violence can be affected by a range of online elements and in some cases, online activity can lead to physical violence. Current harms in the digital space, including risks to privacy, security, cyberbullying, and hate speech, cannot be overlooked.
Schools, educators, and parents can help build resilience against online hate and violence, as well as foster digital ecosystems that are safe and secure for students. Through promoting online safety practices, improving digital literacy and critical thinking skills, and enhancing cybersecurity and technology systems, the kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) community can help reduce certain risk factors among youth.
SchoolSafety.gov offers a variety of resources, programs, and tools that school communities can use to bolster and enhance student online safety, including:
- Bug Bytes: This graphic novel communicates the dangers and risks associated with threat actors using social media and other communication platforms to spread mis-, dis-, and malinformation (MDM).
- Cyber Safety Considerations for K-12 Schools and School Districts: This fact sheet includes information on the most common online threats students face, including cyberbullying, and describes how school and district administrators can prepare for and respond to online threats.
- Cyber Safety Video Series: This series of videos and accompanying fact sheets highlights common potential threats students and K-12 schools are likely to face online, as well as proactive steps individuals and institutions can take to stay safe online.
- Electronic Media and Youth Violence: A CDC Issue Brief for Educators and Caregivers: This report educates the general public on the phenomena of electronic aggression, which is defined as any kind of aggression perpetrated through technology, and its role in public health, including among the school community.
- Preventing Violent Extremism in Schools: This guide serves to educate school personnel about at-risk behaviors and activities that assist students with reducing social and psychological commitment to violence as a method of resolving a grievance.
- StopBullying.gov: This website contains resources for youth, parents, schools, and others to better understand bullying and cyberbullying, including the warning signs, those particularly at risk, and prevention tips.
- Technology and Youth: Protecting your Child from Electronic Aggression: This tip sheet provides a general overview on what comprises electronic aggression, and what parents and caregivers can do to address and help prevent it.
Digital Forums on Prevention build the capacity of credible local voices in addressing targeted violence, terrorism, and hate online. The speakers and moderators who will appear at this event are for informational purposes only. Participation of individuals and organizations does not imply an endorsement or sponsorship of any particular product or group by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security or Federal Government
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Education (ED), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) do not endorse any individual, enterprise, product, or service. DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS do not mandate or prescribe practices, models, or other activities described in this communication. DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information outside of those respective Departments, and the opinions expressed in any of these materials do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS