The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees free speech and religious liberty. People living in America are free to disagree with each other and with the government, but no one has the right to resort to violence as a means of expressing disagreement.

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Information for Discussion Leaders/Trusted Adults

Don't Be a Puppet: Pull Back the Curtain on Violent Extremism is an interactive website designed to educate teenagers on the destructive and deceptive reality of violent extremism and to strengthen their resistance to self-radicalization and possible recruitment.

Developed by the FBI in consultation with community leaders and other partners, the site uses quizzes, videos, and other interactive materials to encourage learning. The site's theme—Don't Be a Puppet—encourages young people not to blindly accept the views of violent extremists but to carefully think through the issues.

The site has five main sections that each teen must complete to successfully finish the program:

  1. What is Violent Extremism?
  2. Why Do People Become Violent Extremists?
  3. What are Known Violent Extremist Groups?
  4. How Do Violent Extremists Make Contact?
  5. Who Do Violent Extremists Affect?

After completing the first five sections, teens are asked to review a final section—Where to Get Help—and then print and sign (by hand) a certificate of completion. You may wish to save a copy of this certificate for your records. The FBI will use the certificate link as a metric collection tool to count how many people successfully complete the program but will not track or store any user information when doing so.

This program includes some general information on the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the limits to these freedoms. The FBI suggests that you talk about this subject in more depth before you begin the program. The FBI also recommends that you are available to discuss the materials while teens are using the site or after they have completed the program. Organizations can also consider incorporating the site into safety briefings and anti-bullying programs.

It is important for you to emphasize that the examples of violent extremism presented in the program represent fringe ideologies and should not be confused with the beliefs of any mainstream religious, ethnic, or political group. Providing appropriate context is important to ensure that no one uses material from this program as an excuse to bully or exclude others.

This website does not retain a teen’s progress in the program once his or her web browser has been closed or the computer has been shut down. As a result, this program must be fully completed in one session or sitting.

Important note: One section of this website contains videos that are streamed through YouTube. If your organization blocks YouTube on its computers, make sure to remove this restriction before teens begin the online program.

Registration is not required to use this website. The FBI does not accept or store any names or other personally identifiable information in this site.

Before beginning the program, please review the Instructions for Teens page, which provides a detailed overview on how the site works. If you have any issues using or viewing this site, see our technical support page. If you or others have a disability and are not able to use all of the features of the site, visit the text version. The videos in this site include closed captions. For all other questions or issues, contact the community outreach specialist in your local FBI field office.

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