Internet safety a priority as AG Stein visits Lenoir County

LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – After visiting New Bern Wednesday morning, state Attorney General Josh Stein made an appearance at a school in Lenoir County.

In the gym of Contentnea-Savannah K-8 School, Stein spoke to 6th graders about a family tech agreement, with goals and hopes of facilitating conversations between children and adults about how to safely and responsibly use the internet.

There are four principles in the initiative that say, in part:

  • I will not talk to strangers online
  • I will be careful about the information I share online
  • I will communicate with my family and friends and stay safe
  • I will find a balance with screen time

Stein says his own weakness is Twitter.

“My wife tells me I use too much Twitter and she is not wrong and so recognizing that these issues exist for ourselves as adults with our brains fully formed really underscores the importance for kids not to become too dependent on it and understand that it can really affect their mental health,” Stein said.

Principal Heather Walston said she hopes the students speaking with Stein will start conversations at home.

“The attorney general speaking to the 6th grade was a very good decision because 6th grade is a tough time; it’s a transition time for them, crossing over from elementary to the big hall,” Walston said. “And they go through a hard time in 6th grade. It’s difficult for a lot of them. A lot of them do fall prey to online issues like bullying.”

This is one of Stein’s many initiatives to protect kids. Others include teen vaping, investigating the mental health impact TikTok and Facebook have on kids, and drafting the SAFE Child Act in 2019.

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