TEEN 'sexting' and cyberbullying will be the focus of a series of Brimbank and Melton Community Legal Centre workshops.
The cyber safety forums will target students in years 6-8. Dates and venues will be determined following expressions of interest.
Community West chief executive Rachna Muddagouni says the workshops will educate adolescents on the dangers of cyberbullying and risky online behaviour, including the sending of sexually loaded text messages (sexting). "The age for young people engaging in social networks and owning their own mobile phone continues to become younger," she said. "Parents often buy phones for their children without understanding the risks this technology poses."
Ms Muddagouni said many young people failed to understand the dangers of texting or emailing inappropriate photos of themselves.
"Those images can last forever ... we want young people to know that if they feel they are being cyberbullied there are laws that can protect them. We don't want to focus only on schools but also host workshops for groups within newly emerging communities in Brimbank and Melton.
"We are hoping to reach parents who may not be aware of the dangers of advancing technology and social networks."
According to Australian Communications and Media Authority research, 94per cent of youth aged 14-15 have at least one social networking profile and 61per cent of children aged 12-17 are likely to accept a friendly request from a stranger.
Ms Muddagouni said legal centre lawyers will begin targeting schools in the next month.