Key things to keep in mind with our students
By Renee Weaver

Today school officials not only need to worry about what students are doing and saying inside the school building. With the use of social media, students’ activities reach a new level of potential concern. School officials, parents and students need to work together as a team to ensure the safety of every student. This may be why school administrators are trending toward a no tolerance policy regarding social media.

Five things students need to know:
1. Anything that is posted on a social media site is public.
2. Content that constitutes cyber-bullying is unacceptable.
3. Individual threats to students or teachers are unacceptable.
4. Threats to the school are unacceptable.
5. There are consequences to violations of school policies regarding social media.

Five things parents need to know:
1. Schools may not monitor social media sites on a regular basis, although if there is suspicion of a violation, administrators have options available to determine the necessary disciplinary measures.
2. There are federal regulations that help protect the privacy of children and use of social media sites, such as Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
3. Know what social media sites your child is utilizing.
4. Parents should routinely monitor their children’s content on social media sites.
5. Explain to your children that responsibilities accompany the use of social media.

Here are a few social responsibilities
to consider:

1. Are the comments made in a nonviolent way?
2. Can someone else interpret the comments as harmful?
3. Explain to your children that if they see unacceptable posts, they should report them.

Open communication between parents, teachers and students is essential to ensure that as a society we accept and take responsibility for the use for social media. And remember that a safe place for children to log on and work out their problems is www.TeenCentral.Net.|