Dear Charlotte Wood Parents,
One of the most challenging parts of parenting today’s young people, is judging the appropriateness of new technologies, and foreseeing possible negative consequences of that technology.
At Charlotte Wood, we have become increasingly alarmed at the cruelty and harassment perpetrated on our students through social networking sites, and through text messaging. After another report today, I feel that it is time for all of us to join together and diligently monitor these practices.
New Jersey Principal, Anthony Orsini makes some compelling points on this issue and age appropriateness of social networking. View his opinion HERE.
May we suggest the following:
- If your son or daughter has an account with a social networking site (i.e. Facebook, mySpace), monitor it regularly.
- Check your child’s text messages on-line. Just check with the cell phone provider for the details.
- Install Parental Control Software, which let you know every internet site that your child has visited
- Keep the family computer out of the student’s bedroom. You’ll want to oversee what they’re doing on the computer, and it’s much easier to do when the computer is located in the family room, living room, kitchen or den.
- Call the police immediately if your son or daughter is a victim of any kind of cyber bullying.
- Contact the social networking site if you become aware of misuse. They can be held liable for the postings on their sites.
- Utilize free software to monitor your child's activity on Facebook.
- Check out SRVUSD Acceptable use of Electronic Communication policy on our website http://cwms.schoolloop.com/electronicagreement, as well as the school’s consequences for inappropriate use of technology.
- Educate yourself and your child regarding appropriate use and digital citizenship by reading our Parent and Student tips on Cyber Safety.
The chance of your son or daughter being hurt by peers is much greater than the chance of being hurt by an on-line predator.
For those of you who are thinking that your child has a right to some privacy, I hear you. And I do not disagree. Don’t read his/her diary. It’s not public, and it’s a good place for a teenager to be able to vent. Knock before you enter his/her bedroom.
But public on-line places, by their very definition, can carry no expectation of privacy. Kids at 11, 12, 13 or 14 are simply not psychologically ready to handle the power of the public pen.
Thank you for joining with us in protecting your children!