WiredSafety's Parents Page
Parents - Working with Your Child's School
It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a team of parents and schools to keep them safe online.
WireSafety's Safe Schools Safe Community program advises that parents and schools create an SSSC team. (We adopted this name after an amazing program run by an amazing woman in Montana.) The SSSC team should include students, school safety officers, librarians (and library-media specialists), computer/technology staff and teachers, as well as school administration and parents. The SSSC Team will do an audit of the school's technology, oermitted uses of digital technology and policies. They will also evluate risks and existing programs.
The hardest part is determining what is going on online at school and the risks that apply to your school. Solutions, once the problems are identified, are simple. Insist that your school adopts a program for students and parents on safe and responsible surfing and keeps parents informed. If you have the expertise, offer to help. If you don't, ask for help. No matter what Internet skills you have, be active and make sure your school board knows what is going on and is being proactive. And remember, it's not about technology, it's about parenting!
Once constituted, the SSSC team can render a report on the audit, advise the school board, create Internet education programs for parents and students and adopt policies and contingency plans to prevent and address the inevitable Internet-related crisis. They can help get ahead of the problem.
Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold
Parry Aftab did a face-to-face poll of almost 45,000 US and Canadian middle schools students a few years ago. She discovered that only 5% of students said they would tell their parents if they were cyberbullied, often fearing that their parents will take away the technology used to bully them, would over-react or would under-react. While they named almost 70 different reasons they wouldn't seek help from their parents, these three reasons were among the top.
Parents are often too hot or too cold when it comes to cyberbullying and other cybersafety risks. The over-react or hide their heads in the sand. They say they "trust" their children, but fail to verify or recognize that parents see things differently from teens . They may have good technology skills, but we have better life skills.