For Immediate Release:
Thursday, August 24, 2023
Contact: Nazneen Ahmed
(RALEIGH) As students begin a new school year in North Carolina, Attorney General Josh Stein shared resources with superintendents to help teachers, principals, and school staff, as well as students and families navigate the transition.
“We’re sending our kids back to school this month, and we know that many are struggling – whether it’s with their mental and emotional health, fears for their safety while they’re in school, trauma, or substance use,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “And on top of that, the legislature is dragging its feet on passing a budget that would adequately pay our teachers and school staff. We must keep our kids safe, and I’ll continue doing everything I can to partner with parents to protect them.”
Children are spending increasing amounts of time on the internet. Children ages eight to 12 spend between four and six hours online a day, and teenagers spend up to 9 hours online. Additionally, research has linked the increased amount of time on social media platforms to mental health damage and increased risk of self-harm and suicide. Social media can also expose children to content that depicts abuse and disturbing sexual images, which can warp their understanding of healthy and safe relationships.
Attorney General Stein shared the Family Tech Agreement, an NCDOJ guide to help start conversations between children and caregivers about online safety and responsible internet use. The agreement, available in English and Spanish, can be downloaded here. The agreement will help foster conversations about potential dangers online and how to avoid them. More information on internet safety for children is available at www.ncdoj.gov/internetsafety.
Attorney General Stein is also organizing a webinar series to help people who work with and care for young people. Each session will provide information and practical tips to keep kids healthy and safe, including online dangers, safe gun storage, social media, and youth substance use. More information on the webinars – which begin on Oct. 4 – is available here.