We will begin to focus on #thinkbeforeyoupost awareness over the next two weeks.
When I was in middle school, our mode of communication was land-line phones, notes passed in school, or just good old-fashioned talking. My mom always reminded me to be careful when talking because I never knew who was listening. I remember my mom and grandma shushing me at public and family gatherings for saying things aloud that probably were best spoken softly or in a private conversation. It was important to them to teach me where, when, and what things could be said publicly, privately, or not at all. Words are powerful, and we must have an awareness of when and how to use them appropriately. I quote a line from a Cher song all the time to our students- “Words are like weapons; they wound sometimes”
Our students, and my children, have a much greater task than I had in 1987 in middle school. Their primary form of communication involves applications such as Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, messenger, texts, GroupMe, gaming chats, and more. If I were in middle school now, my mom would be following me on every platform I joined as well as looking through my phone each night. She would have spent money on a program to control my access and to supervise my use. She would have used this information to teach me how to shush appropriately online.
Unsupervised use of devices can lead students into situations that they typically wouldn’t have engaged in person with friends or acquaintances. We hope our #thinkbeforeyoupost campaign will help students be mindful of words, pictures, and messages they compose and send through their devices.
While my talking as a teenager could cause damage, my words were not broadcast via the internet with the potential to reach hundreds or thousands of people. I could also retract my comments a bit more easily. Our students post something online, and it is there forever. The idea of forever online is difficult for our students to understand. They believe that just by deleting, taking down a post, or seeing it disappear means they are free and clear from any allegations of wrong-doing. It is tough for them to understand that their post online is there and can rarely be undone.
With all of this in mind, please partner we us to help teach our students/children to “think before they post” Encourage them; if they hear or see something suspicious, then say something to an adult and law enforcement as soon as possible.
Anytime our students report online situations, statements, posts, videos, or pictures; we have a process we follow at school to investigate. We want you to know that we thoroughly investigate any situation and involve law enforcement as necessary. We want our workplace and school to be safe. My family is a part of the Edmond community, and I know that their teachers and staff in our district strategically handle all safety issues with the utmost importance.
Our School Resource Officers will provide educational lessons regarding #thinkbeforeyou post for our students in 7th grade November 15th and 16th through Social Studies.Your support is appreciated by continuing these discussions at home. Below are some resources for your reference.
#thinkbeforeyoupost is a goal that we can all work towards each day.
Hoax Threat Awareness:
Stop Inappropriate Pictures:
Thank you for your support!
Mrs. Grinsteiner, Principal