Responsible digital citizenship includes acting and communicating with integrity, protecting the privacy of ourselves and others, and thinking about how our online activities affect ourselves, other people we know, and the wider community. The partnership between parents and teachers is essential in guiding students as they develop online social skills and take part in online community life in an ethical and respectful way.
It is recommended that parents and children have frequent and meaningful discussions about social media, games, and the content they are engaging in online. Children with unsupervised or independent access to the internet and mobile devices are at increased risk to engage with inappropriate or disturbing content (see World Health Organization website for more info). Students are often unaware of the dangers or negative consequences that can come from improper use of social media and uploading personal content. Please encourage your child to tell you or another trusted adult if they see someone being bullied or attacked online.
In an effort to address these risks, our entire secondary school community participated in an online-safety seminar on November 22, provided by the Federation of Independent Schools Association (FISA). The seminar focused on recognizing that online conversations and interactions should never be considered private. The decisions we make online are traceable, permanent, and they can have very real consequences. The seminar also taught students how to check that their accounts are secure, and how to protect their reputation and their personal information. We learned how to request, review, and remove personal information being stored by companies, and how to ensure that our identities are not being falsely used on social media.
These steps are a part of the bigger picture of digital citizenship, responsible device use, and online safety. Our school is committed to partnering with parents to model appropriate device use and to mentor students in class, advisories, and through the discipleship that happens everyday. The JKCS leadership regularly participates in professional development focusing on student safety in a digital world. For example, in December the senior administration at JKCS is participating in an online behavior trends seminar through Safer Schools to support our growing work with students and online engagement. Please support your children by engaging with them in conversations about their online experiences and habits. If your child brings you something of concern, please communicate with your child’s teachers or the school administration.
Things are easier to sort out when our children know we’re here to help.
Adam Wasik, Secondary Principal