Photo by John D'Esposito
Former New York City Police Department officer Paul Faenza of Mount Holly, representing Black River Area Coalition, teaches the I-SAFE Curriculum in Rutland County.
First-year students in the Stafford Technical Center Public Safety Services Class in Rutland became nationally certified as trainers in the area of internet safety.
The training was provided by Paul Faenza, a retired NYPD officer, who is a master trainer through I-SAFE and is presently employed by the Black River Area Coalition. I- SAFE is the largest and most well-known source for internet safety materials and training.
The train the trainer course that the students took had four main components; the students can offer any or all of the components in any trainings that they do in the future.
The first element was cyberbullying, which is using a computer to harass someone else. This is most commonly done by teens that pick on another; sometimes, like in the case that occurred a few years ago in Essex, where fellow students harassed a teenager to the point where he committed suicide. On the national scene, a mother was indicted in a similar case, where she allegedly harassed a classmate of her daughter until, she, too, killed herself.
The second component of the class deals with illegal downloading and file sharing. The class had clips from stars of music and film who explained that their work was their intellectual property, and then when people illegally download and file share, that the artists, composers and performers all suffer personal financial losses.
The third area of concern is viruses, and other things that can damage or destroy computers. People who send viruses out to wreak their damage on others are hard to understand; they do it for the warped enjoyment that they get by hurting people who are strangers to them.
Hacking, identity theft and internet scams are all too common.
Most of us have received one or more “Nigerian scams”, where someone from Nigeria says that he has just come into a large sum of money (often under questionable legal circumstances), and would be happy to share that with you, if you provide a much smaller sum of money as a show of good faith.
The students who are now certified to provide this training to others are Vinny Venturella, Megan Barber, Kayla Temple, Bryan Raiche and Logan Clark from Rutland High School, Chelsea Fitzgerald from Mill River Union High School, Brian Ward, Brandon Ellis, Emily Newton, Stephen Marcoux, and Dylan Goad from Fair Haven Union High School, Kody Baker, Colton Benoit, and Zach Field from Otter Valley Union High School, Aaron Hildebrand from Rutland Area Christian School, and Tyler Manning and Alison DeRoy from Poultney High School. The students are now available to do presentations to school groups, Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, church youth groups and other groups that would benefit from this program.