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Thursday, July 28, 2011

PSA: Where Sheep Gather™


The Internet has no equal in the areas of teaching, learning, and communicating. Users of all ages have global information and communication resources instantly accessible with the click of a button. Social media and Smartphone’s have accelerated this phenom as the social "norm" in recent years.

Child safety organizations, law enforcement, as well as parents and educators, are continually striving to find an approach that provides access to this wealth of knowledge without compromising a child's safety. The largest majority of Internet users (AKA The World) want to protect those in their care from inappropriate and offensive websites and potentially dangerous or life-threatening social media experiences (sexual solicitation, cyberbullying, and sexting).

There are some adequate tools available for parents dealing with young kids in the home (i.e. parental locks, filtering software), but what about kids out at a friend’s house, the public library or even that trusty Smartphone in their pocket?

Our prevention education PSA, titled Where Sheep Gather™, was produced to raise awareness about online safety and encourage parents to talk to their children. The overall goal was to develop this PSA into a 30 minute TV quality movie. The initial project was created as a collaboration between Child Quest, Detective Frank Swaringen of the San Jose Police Department, and selected Law Enforcement entities. Detective Swaringen wrote the script based on his experiences while working in the Sexual Assault Unit and interviewing child predators in jail.  Detective Swaringen has designed programs and taught ‘Child Safety’ to thousands of children, parents, teachers, and Law Enforcement officers.

Unfortunately, due to funding, this project never made it past the PSA phase. The script is still ready for a full 30 minute TV quality movie. The goal was to produce a state-of-the art movie that has the production value of a first-rate teen movie of today and educational value for pre-teens, families and educators. The real-life drama we all know exist, aligning with today’s teen media experiences, this movie/video would portray the online dangers preteens and teens deal with every time they log on to the Internet.

For more information on this project or to find out about Internet safety presentations for your community, please email

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