A state-mandated initiative to provide e-mail to all students takes effect in January, but students at Boyle County High School aren't waiting to make users aware of the potential dangers of instant messaging.
Jim Donlon's Senior Seminar class decided to make a project of educating students about instant messaging, a form of Internet communication that has become very popular among teens.
"We've been getting some good questions from students and teachers," said Wendi Pennington, one of 22 seniors who compiled the safety tips and present them to various classes throughout the day. "I use (IM) a lot, and this was educational for me. I learned some safety tips I hadn't thought about."
According to a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 17 million U.S. teenagers use the Internet - nearly three-quarters of all those in the 12-17 age bracket - and of those, nearly 13 million use instant messaging (IM), according to Pew. Seventy-four percent of online teens use instant messaging, compared to 44 percent of the adult online population.