Written by Herricks Superintendent Dr. John Bierwirth Friday, 24 December 2010 00:00
This past year a movie on the creation of Facebook was very popular and last week Time magazine selected Facebook’s editor as its person of the year. Clearly, social networking via the internet has come of age. It is more and more widespread and more and more mainstream. The opportunities it presents via Facebook and other social networking sites for staying in touch are both fun and valuable to many people.
There are, unfortunately, also some significant downsides. Many of the problems of the three-dimensional, physical world – theft, scams, sexual predators, etc. - have migrated to the world of the internet. In fact, some of these have found the internet to be an easier place to do business given the internet’s openness and anonymity. Bullying has also found a home on the internet.
A couple of weeks ago, the NY Times carried a long article on Cyberbullying and other dangers of the internet. We have posted it on our website under the “Parents” section (top right hand corner of the home page). I urge you to read it if you did not see it in the NY Times. I also urge you to discuss it with your children. If they are old enough, you should have them read it themselves. The material covered is not fun. However, helping your children be aware of the dangers, and be ready to come to you if they encounter problems, is crucial.
Also on our website, under Cyberbullying, are tips from the Nassau County Police Department which are as good as any I have seen from any agency or institution. Below the Cyberbullying section on the drop down menu is also the District’s policy on Bullying which includes a section on Cyberbullying.
The world of the internet changes rapidly and none of us can stay ahead of every new activity. Working together, however, we can do our best to keep your children and our students as safe as possible. Please feel free to contact a school staff member anytime you have a concern or question.