Sexting Cyberbullying and Distracted Driving

More than 200 students from area high schools came to listen and learn about the dangers of “Sexting, Cyberbullying and Distracted Driving” and to share their personal experiences and offer suggestions as to how to promote safer mobile use at the Mobile Safety Summit held on the Pleasantville Campus during spring break.

With news of cyberbullying leading to teen suicides, sexting leading to humiliation and legal prosecution, and distracted driving leading to tragic car accidents dominating the headlines all too frequently, the need to address issues regarding mobile safety has become obvious and urgent.

In order to explore these issues, the Seidenberg School, for the second time in three years, collaborated with WiredSafety, a leading Internet safety organization, to host a Mobile Safety Summit.  The all-day event, which was funded in part by the Verizon Foundation, was organized by Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety and Professor Nancy Hale of the Seidenberg School.

The focus of the Summit was to bring students, educators and community leaders together to propose constructive ways to manage and counteract the difficult issues that characterize the downside of mobile technology.  The day was filled with numerous presentations and panels.  Attendees had the opportunity to participate in one of four workshops – Educational and Tech Tools to Stop Cyberbullying; Schools, Mobile, Law and Policy; Curb Distracted Driving; and Youth Leadership and Empowerment – Don’t Stand By, Stand Up! Findings were presented to the group at-large and will later serve to shape the discussion at a follow-up conference for industry leaders and policy makers who are in the position to enact laws and establish best practice standards.  The conference will be held on the New York City campus in the fall.

Hearing the ideas of students and incorporating their thinking into proposed solutions was of top priority as, in the words of Parry Aftab, “Cyberbullying, sexting and distracted driving are impacting youth and solutions must include their voices to be effective.”

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