Over the last couple of weeks Metro Atlanta school Districts have received messages about possible school shootings. Parents are alarmed, faculty and staff are concerned and most importantly our children are terrified. Our schools are NO place for hate. I believe that the work of preventing school shootings and threats begins with reaching our children and families. School shooting threats and incidents affect the education of those students who survive, witness or encounter such events. These incidents also impact parents. All parents can agree that they want their children in safe schools. A no place for hate school helps teach students the importance of respect, tolerance and acceptance of others. This program also helps create safer schools.
One of the components of the programs work is around how students can prevent bullying. Bullying in schools plays a major role in how our students interact with one another, solve problems and address conflicts. Cyber-bullying is one area that all schools are battling. How can you stop cyber-bullying when everyone has a phone? It is tough. Parents want their children to have phones to communicate with them but there are more cons than pros for students having cell phones during the school day. Where cell phones are great for safety, it often times causes more chaos for schools when children communicate information to their parents that isn’t accurate.
Check out the Q & A on cyber-bullying and ways parents and stakeholders can help teach children the importance of avoiding these acts.
Q: What is cyber-bullying:
- Electronic forms of contact
- An aggressive act
- Harm to the target
Q: How does cyber-bullying happen?
Technology/computers and cell phones
Q: Where does cyber-bullying happen?
- personal websites
- social networking sites
- chat rooms
- message boards
- instant messaging
- video games
Q: What should parents be looking for?
Parents must monitor and be engaged with the apps on their child(ren)’s phone. Chat rooms and message boards are the least suspected yet most dangerous areas for children to learn about inappropriate subjects. Especially guns!
Q: How does cyber-bullying influence school shootings and violence?
Many school shooters have often used social media (Snap Chat, Instagram, etc.) to convey their thoughts and actions around violence. It’s important for parents to monitor their child(ren)’s social interactions. This is something that we often neglect. “Kids will be kids!’, something I hear from parents often until something such as school shooting or threat, fighting or bullying leading up to an even more serious happens. Social skills are learned therefore we must model appropriate social behaviors for our children and teach them appropriate ways to interact with others.