State Bar of Texas
February 24, 2010

Contact:  Kim Davey, 800.204.2222, 512.427.1713, or kdavey@texasbar.com

TYLA Helps Keep Kids Safe with New Video, “R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace”

AUSTIN – “R U Safe? Protecting Yourself in Cyberspace” is designed to educate children and their parents about online dangers and give them the tools needed to be safe while online. The DVD was created by the Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) and is available for viewing and downloading at www.tyla.org/rusafe or may be requested by calling 512.427.1529.

The video covers such topics as cyber bullying, social networking sites, chat rooms, sexting, and online predators. Each part of the four-part DVD is 15-20 minutes in length and geared toward a specific age group, helping kids and parents learn how to report suspicious activity and understand the legal ramifications of certain online behavior.

The project is made possible by a generous grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, the largest charitably-funded bar foundation in the country. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed over $10 million in grants.

Consider the following statistics: 

- One in five U.S. teenagers who regularly log on to the Internet say that they have received an unwanted sexual solicitation via the Web.
- 25 percent of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online.
- 75 percent of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services.

“These statistics are shocking,” said Cori Harbour, TYLA President. “Research indicates that teens who’ve talked to parents or guardians ignore messages from unfamiliar people, refuse to reply or chat, block unknown senders, and report these occurrences to trusted adults. Education regarding online safety is proving instrumental in the fight against online predators.”

“We wanted to begin a conversation with children that they need to have some accountability when it comes to social networking and technology,” said Alyssa Long of San Antonio, a chair of TYLA’s Cyber Awareness Committee. “There are not only personal protections kids have to take when they’re online, but there are legal consequences to some of these activities. Young people may not be aware that they can get arrested for things like sexting and cyber bullying.”

In addition to Long, members of the TYLA Cyber Awareness Committee include Brett Busby, Houston, Adrienne Clements, Fort Worth, Kirsten Cohoon, Houston, Erin O’Driscoll, Houston, Jobe Rodgers, Lubbock, and David Anderson, Dallas. 

TYLA, widely recognized as the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas, develops programs designed to assist Texas attorneys in the practice of law and provides legal education to Texans as a public service. TYLA’s main purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All licensed Texas attorneys who are 36 years old or younger or who are in their first five years of licensure regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA.