Melania Trump listens to students talk about online civility

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, July 18, 2018, after returning from Andrews Air Force Base, where they paid their respects to the family of fallen U.S. Secret Service special agent Nole Edward Remagen who suffered a stroke while on duty in Scotland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON — Melania Trump spent part of Thursday listening to more than a dozen teens talk about their best practices for being civil online.

The first lady made the short trip to Microsoft's Innovation and Policy Center in Washington as part of a nationwide child well-being campaign she launched this year called "Be Best," which includes teaching children and youth to be good citizens online.

The 15 students from across the country participate in Microsoft's Council for Digital Good and provide ideas and feedback for policy work the computer software maker does on the issue of youth-centered online safety.

The first lady also took in art projects the students designed to represent individual expressions of digital civility, her office said.

Digital civility is one element of the first lady's "Be Best" campaign, though her husband is regularly criticized for his own practices online and has weaponized his Twitter account against his foes.

She thanked the students for sharing what she said was impressive and encouraging work.

"To see students taking action and being positive leaders in the digital world for youth is exactly what Be Best is focused on," the first lady said in a written statement after the visit, which was not announced until she arrived at Microsoft.

"Peer-to-peer leadership can be one of the strongest influences on our children," she said. "Using their artistic talents, these students provide unique perspectives on how youth should conduct themselves responsibly online."

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

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