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From the Head of Middle School (Issue 14 2017)

Written on the 14 September 2017

Last week, our local Adelaide community was shocked by several events that occurred in relation to the inappropriate use of social media, none more serious than the tragic loss of life which has been linked to horrific online cyber bullying. As parents, educators and responsible members of the community, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that our children are aware of the potential damage that may be caused through the inappropriate use of online environments. The golden rule I use with my students is that if you wouldn't say it to their face, then don't say it online, and is what you are saying fit for your parents to read?

Whilst the use of social media has many outstanding advantages, by its sheer ability to disseminate vast amounts of potentially uncensored information, it naturally has the same ability to cause harm. Likewise, the perceived anonymity of posting comments, etc provides a false sense of confidence and can even promote a "gang" mentality - the perfect environment for bullying and harassment to thrive in. Regardless of what our children may believe, what we post online can be retrieved and viewed - even if it is deleted! Applications such as Snapchat, in my opinion, provide a temptation to post images that are potentially risky and/or inappropriate.

We need to continually educate our children and students to be responsible users of social media and the internet and in doing so, to report commentary and the posting of images that are derogatory, violent, of a sexual nature or offensive in any way. Listed below are some links to popular applications and how you can report such behaviours.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/safety 
Instagram: help.instagram.com 
Google: (including YouTube) google.com/support/go/legal
Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/help 
Twitter: support.twitter.com
eSafety Commissioner: https://www.esafety.gov.au/complaints-and-reporting

Tim Mullin
Head of Middle School



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