Plan emphasizes protecting children, promoting character education
Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards today released his "Commonwealth Children's Compact" - a plan for protecting Kentucky from individuals and businesses who attempt to exploit or solicit children - at a press conference at the Elizabethtown Community Center. The initiative includes grants to local law enforcement agencies to assist in capturing Internet predators, as well as promoting character education within Kentucky's public schools.
"The Internet is an invaluable tool. But it can also be a corridor that brings threats to Kentucky children from around the world," Richards said. "By empowering law enforcement and strengthening punishment of criminals, Kentucky will ensure that its most vulnerable can utilize this tool safely."
The "Commonwealth Children's Compact" also addresses two major issues facing Kentucky families - protecting children from violent video games and promoting parental responsibility by encouraging parents to use software to safeguard their children. Richards' proposal would punish retailers that sell "Mature" video games to minors, require stores that rent or sell "Mature" video games to display them in separate areas, and create an Internet safety "toolkit" to aid parents in monitoring their children's Internet use. The character education component of the Compact will focus on instructing children in self-discipline, citizenship, and courtesy, among other things.
"Protecting our children means that we must promote a more complete education. This must include educating our children not just in the three R's, but also in strengthening their character," Richards said. "As Governor, I will ensure that strengthening Kentucky families happens where children are most often: in the home and in the classroom."