This publication, The Voices of Our Youth: Our Online Safety, contains a student-written essay entitled “Recruitment Tactics,” which incorrectly states that Elizabeth Moore is currently a member and representative of the neo-Nazi organization, Heritage Front. In fact, Ms. Moore defected from the organization in 1995 and has since become an outspoken advocate warning about the dangers of white supremacy organizations. Elizabeth Moore’s story remains an important case study, more so because of her openness to discuss her experiences while in Heritage Front.
We are in a time when technology adoption by our youth is almost immediate. But student forays into the online world have not been without unfortunate drawbacks. Misinformation, crime, viruses, and stalkers are online too waiting for our innocent self-explorers. From news media coverage to school safety assemblies, the dominant perspective has been that of adults trying to keep children safe. But what of the voices of the youth? Aren’t they the digital generation? Na Leo o na ‘Opio is one of the results of two years of formal research into the manner by which juveniles may become victims in online environments. It came out of a request to Hawai‘i students to provide short answers to the questions, “What issues do you think of when you consider Internet safety?” and “Do you have any concerns for your own Internet safety as youths?” Their short answers spurred us to seek full essays submitted in a competition about Internet safety. Na Leo o na ‘Opio (The Voices of the Youth) comprises select essays from that competition. The topics addressed include cyber bullies, sexting, online predators, cyber stalkers, hate group recruiters, identity theft con artists, scam artists, spam, viruses, worm hackers, misinformation and bias, and violent video game influences. Our youth truly took this opportunity to heart, and Na Leo o na ‘Opio: Our Online Safety is a serious compendium of the technology issues in their lives.
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