RE: SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES
We are all well aware of the growing phenomenon of social networking its attraction for children and young people. Social networking is here to stay and is very important to young people.
Most young people have Facebook accounts and use them regularly. Parents and teachers need to make sure that all young people learn to use the technology safely and responsibly and understand the underlying risks.
To many of us the social networking phenomenon is strange and unfamiliar. This letter is an attempt to provide information, advice and strategies to parents that will help keep our young people safe and allow them to become responsible users of technology.
Information about Facebook
The concept of ‘Friends’ on Facebook
Parents should be monitoring who their children’s Facebook ‘friends’ are. Young people brag about the number of ‘friends’ they have on Facebook and can be indiscriminate in who they add as a ‘friend’. This leads to “friendships” with unknown people some of who’s motives for using Facebook are frightening.
Advice for parents
If you find that your child is being harassed on-line, please report it to the school and print out a hard-copy of the page/s. Never ever, respond! Delete or block the offending ‘friend’ and use the ‘Report this Page’ link on Facebook/YouTube. In Facebook the ‘Help Centre’ is located under the ‘Account’ tab.
We verify the allegation by getting a hard copy of the offending comments. Sometimes young people will ‘sign-on’ to their account and show us the relevant comments that have been posted. If you are listed as a friend, you can see and print anything offensive. The school treats incidents of on-line harassment very seriously. We follow up with parents immediately and in some cases are obliged to report matters to the Police.
Every child and family signs the Digital Users Agreement at the start of each year. This agreement clearly states that children agree that they will not use the Internet, email or mobile phones for teasing or bullying or any other inappropriate use. Children are not permitted to use Facebook at school and access is a blocked by the school IT system.
The Internet is an increasingly important part of our day to day communication with others. It provides us with enormous opportunities. It is important that we ensure our children use the Internet responsibly and safely at home and at school.
Should you want further information on this topic or need advice or assistance please contact one of our Assistant Principals or myself at the school on 9708 1319 or email via the contact tab on our school website.
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) guidelines on acceptable use of the internet is available at:
A fact sheet for parents and carers has been designed to provide useful strategies and tips for parents in dealing with incidents of bullying and unacceptable behaviour. It is available in multiple languages:
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have a great website to help parents understand and deal with cyber safety matters. http://www.cybersmart.gov.au
Lifeline cyberbullying support materials
Other useful websites
www.cybernetrix.com.au – Internet safety options for Secondary Schools
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