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2000 – The Connecticut Education Network was established to deliver reliable, high-speed Internet and related services to members, including schools and libraries, throughout Connecticut. It provides these services at fair prices to promote digital inclusion.
2002 – The Safe School climate law was initially passed, requiring schools to create and implement safety plans addressing teen dating violence and bullying, and allowing for the reporting of such behaviors.
2004 – The state’s Department of Education Position Statement on Educational Technology and Information Literacy instructs teachers to educate students in using technology safely, Internet etiquette and the skills to evaluate online resources for validity.
2006 – The Connecticut Department of Education released a framework for its information and technology literacy curriculum. By the end of 12th grade, students are to be competent, independent and responsible users of information and technology. This includes the legal and ethical use of technology, applying technology to learning in all content areas, synthesizing information and using technology to enhance productivity.
2008 – Connecticut passed an Act Concerning School Learning Environment. The Act revised the original Safe School Climate law, adding provisions on the implementation of a positive behavioral interventions and support processes, school surveys to determine the prevalence of bullying, the creation of bullying prevention coordinating committees, and adult supervision of school areas where bullying is likely to occur, among other items.
2009 – Federal stimulus funds secured by the ICAC Task Force in Connecticut were to be used, among other programs, to expand Sexual Predator Safety education to 60 schools a year, providing students and teachers with materials and training on Internet safety.
Also in 2009, the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium launched its Virtual Learning Center. The center’s goal was to provide online learning opportunities for high school students throughout the state. However, due to funding and enrollment drops, the Consortium now partners with the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative to provide these services.
2011 – The Connecticut Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences was a project funded by the STEM Learning and Research Center through 2015. Through the online academy, high school students learn STEM, digital arts and technology content.
Connecticut revised its Act Concerning the Strengthening of School Bullying Laws again in 2011. The new version of the law included definitions for cyberbullying, mobile electronic devices, electronic communication and behavior outside the school setting. The Act prohibits bullying through the use of electronic or electronic mobile devices, and requires schools to include provisions addressing off-campus bullying where the bullying creates a hostile environment for the student at school, infringes on the student’s rights at school or disrupts the education process.
2012 – Requires all boards of education to develop and implement a safe school climate plan by January 2012, which, among other things, prohibits bullying on school grounds or through the use of electronic communication. The plan must include a prevention and intervention strategy for schools to deal with incident of bullying. All school staff must receive annual training on how to prevent and respond to acts of bullying. In 2012 and biennially after, each school must complete an assessment using the school climate assessment tools distributed by the Department of Education, which will then be submitted to the department for review.
2013 – The Connecticut School Health Survey found that one quarter of teens in Connecticut high schools experienced dating violence in the past year. The state education department provides information on legislation, prevention techniques and a webinar for teachers on this topic.
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The coalition is a network of Connecticut’s 18 domestic violence service agencies. Its website includes information and warning signs of teen dating violence, including online components of abuse.
Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium
Since 1998, this organization has provided services to educators, helping them deliver technology-enhanced education to students. Services include an online tutoring platform, technical support and online classes.
Connecticut State Department of Education
The Department works to ensure equal opportunities among all citizens through curriculum, evaluation, data analyses and other assistance. It is also responsible for updating curriculum standards and distributing funds to all of the state’s public schools. The Department’s website provides information on bullying and harassment policies, as well as teen dating violence data.
Launched by the Governor’s Office and administered by the Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology (BEST), the project aims to help residents learn more about using the Internet safely and responsibly. Information is aimed at a variety of users, from students to businesses, and covers a range of Internet safety topics.
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
This department is tasked with protecting the state and improving quality of life by providing a range of public safety services, training, education and guidance. The department also hosts the state’s sex offender registry.
Human Anti-Trafficking Response Team
There are six of these teams in Connecticut, which focus on human trafficking through the lenses of identification and response, awareness and education, and restoration and recovery.
Internet Safety Concepts
This organization’s founder developed presentations for middle school and high school students as well as parents to achieve the mission of helping families learn about being safe while using the Internet and other technology. Presentations can be conducted with appropriate information for students, parents, corporations or principals and teachers.
This nonprofit focuses on early intervention, prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. One of its youth programs is centered around teen dating violence and online victimization.
Office of the Child Advocate
Housed within the Office of Governmental Accountability, this office monitors and evaluates agencies charged with protecting children. It also reviews state policies and procedures to ensure they are in children’s best interest and advocates for at-risk children.
Formerly known as Power to Learn, Optimum Community is operated by Cablevision. Its website, particularly the Digital Smarts section, complements in-school training sessions which take place throughout Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The site covers issues like illegal downloading, cyberbullying and protecting personal data.
The Center for Family Justice
This center provides support, information and services to people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. It has a multidisciplinary investigative team, which responds to cases of child abuse. Its website includes internet safety tips and lists hotlines for sexual assault and domestic violence.
The Village for Families & Children
This center provides behavioral health services for children and youth, and support services for at-risk children and families.
Reconceptualizing Digital Citizenship: Six Facets of the Internet that K-12 Educators Must Ensure Students Understand (2015)L.E. LePage Harrelson
This paper focuses on digital citizenship in K-12 classrooms.
Problematic Internet Use and Health in Adolescents: Data From a High School Survey in Connecticut (2011)T.C. Liu, R.A. Desai, S. Krishnan-Sarin, D.A. Cavallo, M.N. Potenza
This study aims to explore the prevalence and health correlates of problematic Internet use among high school students.
Connecticut High School Teachers’ Knowledge, Needs, and Expertise in Teaching the New Literacies of the Internet and other Technologies (2008)J. Kara-Soteriou, C. Kurkjian
This study investigates how high school teachers, media specialists and librarians understand and apply technology literacies.
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
The age of consent in Connecticut is 16 years old.
Unless otherwise specified, felonies in the state of Connecticut are sentenced as follows:
- Capital felony: execution or life imprisonment.
- Class A felony (murder): 25 to 60 years’ imprisonment. Fine up to $20,000.
- Class A felony: ten to 25 years’ imprisonment. Fine up to $20,000.
- Class B felony: one to 20 years’ imprisonment. Fine up to $15,000.
- Class C felony: one to ten years’ imprisonment. Fine up to $10,000.
- Class D felony: one to five years’ imprisonment. Fine up to $5,000.
Unless otherwise specified, misdemeanors in the state of Connecticut are sentenced as follows:
- Class A misdemeanor: imprisonment not to exceed one year.
- Class B misdemeanor: imprisonment not to exceed six months.
Class C misdemeanor: imprisonment not to exceed three months.
- CGS Sec. 53-21. Injury or Risk of Injury to, or Impairing Morals of, Children. Sale of Children. A person who wilfully or unlawfully causes or permits any child under the age of 16 years to be placed in such a situation that the life or limb of such child is endangered, the health of such child is likely to be injured or the morals of such child are likely to be impaired, or does any act likely to impair the health or morals of any such child, or permanently transfers the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of 16 years to another person for money or other valuable consideration or acquires or receives the legal or physical custody of a child under the age of 16 years from another person upon payment of money or other valuable consideration to such other person or a third person, except in connection with an adoption proceeding, is guilty is a class C felony. A person who has contact with the intimate parts of a child under the age of 16 years or subjects a child under 16 years of age to contact with the intimate parts of such person, in a sexual and indecent manner likely to impair the health or morals of such child is guilty of a class B felony, unless the victim is under 13 years old, in which case the offender is liable to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years as well. A person who intentionally and unreasonably interferes with or prevents the making of a report of suspected child abuse is guilty of a class D felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-40c. Psychological Counseling Required for Person Convicted of Sexual Assault of a Minor. Requires any person convicted of a violation of section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, where the victim of the sexual assault was a person 10 years of age or younger, to undergo psychological counseling in addition to any penalties imposed.
- CGS Sec. 53a-70. Sexual Assault in the First Degree. States that anyone who, being more than two years older than the victim, engages in sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 13, or compels the child to have sexual intercourse with another person more than two years older than the child, is guilty of sexual assault in the first degree. This is deemed to be a class A felony. The section also states that anyone who compels another person to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force or threat of violence, or who commits sexual assault in the second degree aided by two or more persons, is guilty of an offense. This is deemed to be a class B felony, with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years. Where the victim is under 16 years of age the offense is aggravated to a class A felony, with a mandatory minimum term of five years’ imprisonment. Where the victim is under 10 years old, the offender is liable to a mandatory minimum term of 10 years’ imprisonment. A class A felony carries a jail sentence of 25 to 50 years, with a minimum term of 25 years for a first offense and a minimum term of 50 years for subsequent offenses.
- CGS Sec. 53a-70a. Aggravated Sexual Assault in the First Degree. States that anyone who commits sexual assault in the first degree is guilty of a class B felony if the offender: uses a weapon; injures the victim with intent to seriously and permanently disfigure, or to destroy, amputate or disable the victim; recklessly risks the death of the victim and thereby causes serious physical injury; or commits the act jointly with two or more persons. Where the victim is under the age of 16, the offense is deemed to be a class A felony, with a mandatory minimum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
- CGS Sec. 53a-70c. Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Minor. States that a person is guilty of this crime when he/she violates subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53-21 or section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-86, 53a-87 or 53a-196a and the victim is under 13 years of age and the offender: kidnapped or restrained the victim; stalked the victim; used violence; committed the crime jointly with one or more persons; seriously injured or disfigured the victim; did not know the victim; has been previously convicted of a violent sexual assault; or sexually assaulted more than one victim under the age of 13. This is a class A felony, carrying a sentence of imprisonment for 25 years which may not be suspended. A subsequent offense is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 50 years’ imprisonment.
- CGS Sec. 53a-71. Sexual Assault in the Second Degree. This applies where the victim is aged between 13 and 16 years of age and the perpetrator is more than three years older than the victim, or the actor is 20 or older and is in a position of power over the other person who is under 18 years old, among other circumstances. This is a class B felony, carrying a jail term of one to 20 years. For those who abuse a position of power or trust over a person under the age of 18, leading to sexual intercourse, the offense is defined as a class C felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-72a. Sexual Assault in the Third Degree. States that anyone who compels another person to sexual contact by the use of force or threat thereof is guilty of a class D felony. Where the victim is under the age of 16 years, it is aggravated to a class C felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-73a. Sexual Assault in the Fourth Degree. This offense concerns subjecting a child under 13 to sexual contact when the offender is more than two years older than the person, or where the victim is 13 or 14 years of age and the offender is more than three years older. Also included in the definition of the offense is where the victim is under the age of 18 and the offender is aged 20 or older and is in a position or power, authority or supervision over the victim. Sexual assault in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor, unless the victim is a child under the age of 16 in which case the offense becomes a class D felony, which carries a prison term of one to five years.
- CGS Sec. 53a-82. Prostitution. A person 16 or older is guilty of prostitution when such person engages or agrees or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee. However, in any prosecution it is a defense that the actor was a trafficking victim, and if the person was 16 or 17 years old there is a presumption that he/she was a victim of trafficking. Prostitution is a class A misdemeanor.
- CGS Sec. 53a-83. Patronizing a Prostitute. This offense is a class A misdemeanor, unless the person should have reasonably know that the person they were patronizing was under 18 years old or was a trafficking victim, in which case it is a class C felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-86. Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree. This section states that anyone who knowingly advances or profits from the prostitution of a minor under the age of 18 is guilty of a class B felony. The first nine months of imprisonment cannot be suspended by the court.
- CGS Sec. 53a-90a. Enticing a Minor. This defines the offense of using an “interactive computer service” to persuade, coerce, entice or induce a child under the age of 16 to engage in unlawful sexual activity or prostitution. The penalties were increased in 2004 so that it is deemed to be a class D felony for a first offense, a class C felony for a second offense and a class B felony for any subsequent offense. Where the victim is under the age of 13, the offense is aggravated to a class B felony for the first offense, and the first five years of imprisonment may not be suspended or reduced; for subsequent offenses 10 years’ imprisonment may not be suspended.
- CGS Sec. 53a-90b. Misrepresentation of Age to Entice a Minor. A person is guilty of this offense if he/she misrepresents his/her age to entice a minor in the course of a commission of an offense under section 53a-90a. An offense is a class C felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-181c. Stalking in the First Degree. States that a person can be convicted of this offense if they have previously been convicted of stalking in the second degree or the victim is under 16 years of age. This offense is deemed to be a class D felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-182b. Harassment in the First Degree. Defines the offense as when a person acts with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize another person, threatens to kill or physically injure that person or any other person, and communicates the threat by telephone, telegraph, mail, computer network or any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm. This offense is deemed to be a class D felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-183. Harassment in the Second Degree. States that anyone who uses a computer network, telephone or other form of written communication to communicate with a person with intent to harass, annoy or alarm is guilty of this class C misdemeanor.
- CGS Sec. 53a-189a. Voyeurism. This section states that a person is guilty of a class D felony if they, with malice, photograph, film or otherwise record, without consent, the image of another person under circumstances where this person has a reasonable expectation of privacy, or with intent to arouse or satisfy their own sexual desire.
- CGS Sec. 53a-189b. Disseminating Voyeuristic Material. Defines the offense of disseminating material taken in violation of section 53a-189a without the depicted person’s consent. This is a class D felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196. Obscenity as to Minors. A person is guilty of this crime if he/she knowingly promotes to a minor, for monetary consideration, any material or performance which is obscene as to minors. It is a defense that the defendant made a reasonable mistake as to the minor’s age and a bona fide attempt was made to ascertain the true age of the minor. An offense is a class D felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196a. Employing a Minor in an Obscene Performance. A person is guilty of this offense when such a person employs a minor for the purpose of promoting any material or performance which is obscene to minors. This is a class A felony subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196b. Promoting a Minor in an Obscene Performance. States that a person is guilty of a class B felony if they knowingly promote any obscene material or performance in which a minor is employed.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196c. Importing Child Pornography. This section states that a person is guilty of importing child pornography when, with intent to promote child pornography, such person knowingly imports or causes to be imported into the state three or more visual depictions of child pornography of known content and character. This offense is deemed to be a class B felony and carries a minimum prison term of five years.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196d. Possessing Child Pornography in the First Degree. Defines the offense of knowingly possessing 50 or more images of child pornography. It is defined as a class B felony and carries a minimum prison term of five years.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196e. Possessing Child Pornography in the Second Degree. Constitutes that a person can be convicted under this offense if they are found to have knowingly possessed 20 to 50 depictions of child pornography. It is defined as a class C felony and carries a minimum prison term of two years.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196f. Possessing Child Pornography in the Third Degree. States that anyone who knowingly possesses fewer than 20 depictions of child is guilty of a class D felony, which carries a minimum prison term of one year.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196h. Possessing or Transmitting Child Pornography by a Minor. This section states that it is an offense for any minor of or over the age of 13 but under 18 to send a pornographic image of themselves via electronic means. It is also an offense for a person of the same age range to possess such a visual depiction of child pornography after receiving it from the child depicted via electronic means. This is deemed to be a class A misdemeanor.
- CGS Sec. 53a-196i. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. A person is guilty of this crime when such a person knowingly purchases advertising space for an advertisement for a commercial sex act that includes a depiction of a minor. It is no defense that the defendant did not know the age of the person depicted in the advertisement, relied on oral or written representation of the depicted person’s age, or relied on the apparent age of the depicted person. It is a defense, however, that the person made a bona fide attempt to ascertain the true age of the person depicted in the advertisement by requiring the person depicted in the advertisement to produce a driver’s license or other formal identification to ascertain his/her age. An offense is a class C felony.
- CGS Sec. 53a-250 to 53a-256. Computer Crimes. Defines various computer crimes such as unauthorized access to a computer system, theft or interruption of computer services, misuse of system information, and destruction of computer equipment. Classification ranges from a class B felony (where the damage exceeds $10,000) to a class B misdemeanor (where the damage is below $500).
- CGS Sec. 54-251. Registration of Person who has Committed a Criminal Offense against a Victim who is a Minor or a Nonviolent Sexual Offense. Requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state within three days of their release from prison. Offenders are required to register for a minimum of 10 years unless they have previously been convicted of a similar offense, in which case they must register for life. A court may decide that if the offender was under 19 years of age at the time of the offense, and they are not considered a danger, that registration is not required. Violation of this requirement is considered to be a class D felony.
- CGS Sec. 54-252. Registration of Person who has Committed a Sexually Violent Offense. Requires convicted sex offenders to register with the state within three days of their release from prison and to maintain that registration for life. Violation of this requirement is considered to be a class D felony.