November 15, 2022
This week, students from the Utah Attorney General’s Youth Advisory Committee asked a Legislative committee to support the idea of strengthening online safety measures and to require a “digital wellness” test. High school seniors would need to pass the test to graduate. The students wanted to ensure that every Utah student had the opportunity to learn more about positive online behavior and that is why they felt it was imperative to create a state mandated curriculum and test.
The idea came about by a subgroup of the Youth Advisory working on legislative ideas. Currently 53 students participate in discussions and topics that affect youth on a bi-weekly basis. Students dial in or attend in person from as far away as Willard in Northern Utah, to St. George in Southern Utah. They represent 24 schools statewide.
Skyline High School students Anh Khoa Le and Joyce Wang represented the digital safety subcommittee and suggested legislators expand the curriculum to include sensitive topics such as inappropriate online advances and predation. Students have seen and experienced the potential dangers of using the internet, including low self-esteem, cyber bullying, sextortion and sexual predators. There is a strong need to implement a more robust curriculum to prepare students.
Senator Derrin Owens, Chairman of the Commission thanked the students for their presentation and acknowledged the risks young people face as they go online.