Monday, January 25, 2010

Kids Suspended for Bullying on Facebook

McClure Middle School in Seattle recently suspended 28 students for allegedly bullying a classmate through Facebook.  Apparently a Facebook page was created that students could sign up for if they didn't like a certain student.  When the problem was discovered, the page was taken down and the school began conversations with both the parents and the students about appropriate Internet usage.

Computers and cellphones make it increasingly easy for children to make big, public mistakes.  Unfortunately kids' brains are not done developing until they are about 25-years-old and the last parts to develop are the areas responsible for thinking through consequences, impulse control and emotional regulation.

Given this, parents need to continually discuss the serious responsibilities and consequences of using digital technologies with their children.  Parents also need to monitor what their children are doing online.  While there are software programs to monitor online activity, there are also low tech ways to keep tabs on children like
  • stopping by periodically to see what your kids are doing online
  • asking them to show you the sites they enjoy visiting
  • checking their browser history 
  • friending them on Facebook
What are you doing to keep your kids safe and appropriate on the internet?




   
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