“Ideally, children should not post pictures on the Internet at all.” – Jill Starishevsky, New York City’s assistant district attorney and prosecutor of child abuse and sex crimes — Top eight expert tips on Internet safety
There are many memes, jokes and comments about 2020. It has been a year of change, upheaval and trial. As we come near the close, I’d like to point you to a topic that 2020 has brought to the forefront at school.
More than ever, our students are spending time on digital devices instead of in person relationships and we are seeing the impact. There are risks online for all of us and because we want the best for each student, we want to decrease these risks. For younger students, the most common risks include exposure to inappropriate content, such as pornography and disturbing images and videos. For older students, they include cyberbullying, over-sharing, addictive behaviours and a loss of privacy and reputation.1
“Researchers believe that as teens become hooked on social-media apps, they are less able to regulate emotions, manage impulses and make good decisions. Social-media addiction also creates lower self-esteem — the direct opposite of what teens use social media for. . . A parent’s greatest error could possibly be turning a blind eye to how much time teens spend online and what they’re doing there and why.”2
To help protect our students at school, the policies we have in place are:
- No personal devices for K – Gr 7 (please keep devices at home)
- Supervision while on school devices
- Actively reviewing our policy for Grade 8 – 12 students
What we are asking you as a family to do are:
- Monitor use on devices, especially content and postings on social media
- Keep communication open with your children/youth
- Remind them that anything done online is not anonymous
- Encourage them to spend time doing alternate activities: read books, develop hobbies, play non-violent games, do community service
Tips some families have found helpful:
- Use screen time limits on devices
- Buy an internet router that automatically turns off at set times
- Lock games away except for certain times
We want a healthy learning atmosphere at school, both in and out of class time, where students are learning good social skills, are physically active, and have moments to daydream during free time.3 These keep our mind and body healthier, as well as build empathy for our fellow humans.
If you are looking for reasons to not have your child start on social media, start by reading this article (10 Reasons why Social Media Should Banned for Children Under 18) or watching the documentary “Social Dilemma” found on Netflix.
Find more fabulous info here:
- Top eight expert tips on Internet safety
- Four conversations parents should have with their kids about digital devices
- Safer Schools Together Parent Resources
- 5 Reasons Youth Don’t Report Cyberbullying—and What Parents Can Do About It
- Tween & Teen Health – Social media use: What’s the impact?
Thank you for joining us in keeping our young people healthy and safe.