A parent information session on cyber bullying was held tonight in the school library. This was organised by our student welfare staff. John Keats a Youth Resource Office fromVictoria Police Force talked about cybersafety and keeping our families safe online. He also shared some experiences in his role both as a parent and as a police officer.
A small group of interested parents attended. The potential positive impact that membership of social networking sites may have for people was emphasised but the dangers of predators and of cyber bullying was also clearly outlined. Time was also spent discussing sexting and the danger of child pornography charges being pursued.
A video made in the UK, shared the heartbreak of a boy who suffered from cyberbullying.
Parents were encouraged to populate the online space so that they have a basic understanding of what can occur, how to keep their child as safe as possible and to provide a strong, positive online profile. Cybersmart is a valuable site and Am I old enough by Victoria Legal Aid.
When asked, parents stated that they would like to know how to:-
- log off
- delete updates etc
- use facebook, keep a strong, protected profile
- block people
- send a friendship request
Other questions related to setting a code on an iPad, how to use skype, twitter, youtube, moshi monster and minecraft safely. An evening will be conducted soon for parents with a ‘hands on’ component.
What are your concerns? What would you like to know or be shown?
On Thursday Bill Mundy from Telstra visited the school to present a new Android Tablet, internet credits and educational material as a result of our school’s successful Bully Busters funding application. Bill spoke of Telstra’s sense of responsibility for the safe use of communication technology. He spoke to the assembled secondary students about the importance of doing the right thing when on Facebook and other programs and the long term consequences that doing the wrong thing can have. Mr Mundy spoke about the importance of appropriate online behaviour. He reminded our students of the serious consequences of inappropriate online behaviour, including ‘sexting’ and cyberbullying. He spoke as a father of teenage daughters and as an employer, explaining that before any potential job interview he searches social media for the profiles of candidates for the position and excludes any person with dubious character, based on the images and status updates. We thank Mr Mundy and Telstra for the opportunity to participate in the BullyStoppers program and for taking the time to visit our school.
Our school is currently planning a number of programs on bullying that will involve students and parents from across the school. One of these will be a session on Cyber Bullying; information will be communicated home at a later date. It is hope that all parents will take up this offer when it occurs because it will provide much knowledge and advice on what is a complex and demanding topic.
Congratulations to all students from Grade 5 to 8 who participated in the “What Does My Digital Footprint Say About Me?” competition. We recieved some excellent posters, pieces of writing, music and multimedia projects demonstrating a very good understanding of appropriate online behaviour. The winners are shown above, with great prizes donated by Target, Dick Smith and IT Made Simple. Thanks also to Mrs Davey, who did a great job assisting students with their entries and co-ordinating the entry process. The winners are:
Nicky Oosthuizen – Year 5/6 Writing (Target Voucher)
Billy-Jo Parsons-Muskee – Year 7/8 Writing (Dick Smith MP3 player)
Thalia Watson – Year 7/8 Poster ($20 iTunes voucher)
Ben Casey and Luke Gow – Year 7/8 Music (Rap) ($20 iTunes voucher)
Sophie Hines – Year 5/6 Multimedia (Digital video camera donated by IT Made Simple)
Sarah Herring – Year 7/8 Multimedia (Digital video camera donated by IT Made Simple).
The Australian Government has a Cybersafety website which is easily accessed by installing the cybersafety help button on your computers. This cybersafety button can downloaded onto your desktop and simply by clicking on it, you will be taken to this cybersafety help and advice page.