In Fresno County, five high school students were arrested, their lives changed forever, after posting threatening images to social media sites. The internet is a growing part of our lives, and we urge parents to take time today to talk to their child about the lasting impact one such post or share can have on the lives of young people and their families.
As a school district we are continuing to educate students about the risks posed by irresponsible use of the internet. We encourage every parent to be a part of proactive efforts to help our youth use their social media accounts in a safe and responsible way. Students also play an important role in alerting their parents and school administrators to any suspicious online behavior that they witness to help keep their school environments safe.
This Parent Bulletin is provided to help empower parents to have quality conversations with their children.
|THINK BEFORE YOU POST OR SHARE|
What law enforcement has to say:
“Each and every threat that comes to our attention will be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly. The consequences for those making these threats will be swift and severe regardless of their age. If someone is old enough to make threats through social media or any other means, they are old enough to be arrested and prosecuted.” – CHIEF JERRY DYER, Fresno Police Department
“In the City of Clovis, any type of threat that we receive will be investigated thoroughly and treated seriously. Our officers will do everything in our power to track down social media, or other threats to their source, and will aggressively pursue charges against anyone threatening the safety of our community.” – CHIEF MATT BASGALL, Clovis Police Department
“This is the time in a young person’s life when decisions made today can impact the rest of their lives, especially now with the prevalence of social media. We will take all threats seriously and take strong law enforcement action against anyone who threatens those in our community. You may think it is a joke, but it is certainly not funny when you are in front of a judge facing felony charges.”
– SHERIFF MARGARET MIMS, Fresno County Sheriff’s Department
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE ONLINE
- Don’t make irresponsible, frightening or threatening posts on your online accounts as they will likely result in serious legal and school disciplinary action.
- Never forward or re-post an inappropriate or threatening post or message that you see or receive online. Instead, report that post and/or message to an adultand/ or school staff member immediately.
- Encourage your friends to be responsible internet and social media users.
- Be aware of the consequences (legal and school-based) of inappropriate use of the internet, including forwarding or re-posting of inappropriate or threatening content,to your child and your family.
- Be familiar with your child’s online activity, including all social media accounts.Don’t be afraid to “follow” or “friend” your kids on their personal social media channels.
- Talk to your kids regularly about their use of the internet and social media, and create a safe environment for your children to report internet activity or online posts/ messages that make them uncomfortable.
- Report inappropriate or threatening online content immediately to law enforcement or school sta?.
OTHER THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
- Age restrictions: Think about the age restrictions on the sites your family uses.Commonsensemedia.org and net-aware.org.uk are great sites to see what other parents think of the age rating on different platforms so that you can make an informed decision of whether your family should be using them.
- Privacy setting: Most social networking sites have privacy settings to help you manage the content you share and who you share it with; you can decide if you want your posts to be shared with your online friends and followers only or with the public. You can also decide who can contact you on sites you use within the privacy settings.
- Block and report: Make sure your children know that they can block or report any user that makes them feel uncomfortable online. Childnet.com has some guidance on how to report different websites of concern.
Clovis Unified is acting to keep schools safe by:
- Operating our own police force that works collaboratively with local law enforcement and is on campus at every Clovis Unified school.
- Conducting regular staff training on safe school plans, including upcoming trainings on active shooter protocols.
- Coordinating with third party specialists to conduct vulnerability studies of our campuses to ensure we reflect best practices for safe schools.
- Regularly rehearsing safety protocols with students and staff that would be used in a variety of natural or man made crises. These drills are currently being reviewed to ensure students understand their purposes.
- And much more. Contact your local school for more information about our safe school plans.