In a world where everything is online, it can be difficult for everyone — especially young people — to understand how to use the Internet and social media productively and safely.
As Liberty Bell High School counselor Amy Knob said, “Everything online is public, permanent and searchable, no matter the privacy settings.”
Liberty Bell is holding two assemblies for sixth- through 12th-grade students, as well as a forum for parents, families and community members next Monday (Sept. 26) that will provide the information students need to be safer, to increase their privacy, and to protect their digital footprints.
“Social Media/Internet Safety and Digital Literacy 101” will be presented by a social-media expert who calls himself the White Hatter. The White Hatter teaches tweens and teens basic Internet literacy and about staying safe while using chat rooms and instant messaging.
He will also cover online behaviors that could put someone’s reputation or privacy at risk and explain how to protect personal information on social networks like Facebook.
The presentations will address online porn, gaming and gambling and the associated risks of addiction, cyberbullying and online sexual predation.
The White Hatter will provide resources — both on- and offline — that youths, parents and guardians can turn to to help with peer aggression, sexting gone wrong and depression.
The parent/guardian night will focus on emerging online teen trends and parental risk management; the threat of Internet pornography; and will explain how technology has changed everything from teen socializing and dating to schoolwork and the sleep cycle. The presentation will also include a four-step process for Internet safety.
The parent/guardian night is Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Liberty Bell. Two student assemblies will be held earlier that day.
Because child care, pizza and refreshments will be provided, Knob asks that parents and community members RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or 996-2215 by Friday (Sept. 23) to reserve a spot and indicate whether they need childcare.