East Marden Primary School is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet. There is growing concern among our students that there is an increase in the inappropriate use of WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other texting sites.
Many of the issues that have been brought to our attention recently have involved the use of:
- Instagram – an online mobile photo sharing, video sharing and social networking service which enables its users to take pictures and videos and share them on a variety of social networking platforms. You are required to be at least 13 years old before you can create an account.
- Facebook- a social networking site. You are required to be at least 13 years old before you can create an account.
- Whats App – An instant messaging app for smartphones. The user agreement requires users to be age 16 or older.
We understand that it is increasingly difficult to keep up with the ways that our children are using new and ever changing technologies. Websites such as Facebook, Instagram and Whats App, to name but a few, offer fantastic opportunities for communication and social connections, however they have been the recent cause of issues at school. With this in mind, we feel it important to point out to parents the risks of unregulated use of such sites, so you can make informed decisions as to whether to allow your child to have a profile or not and when and how to monitor their use, particularly at night time. Should you decide to allow your child to have an online profile we strongly advise you:
- Check their profile is set to private and that only their friends can see information they post.
- Monitor your child’s use and talk to them about safe and appropriate online behaviour such as not sharing personal information and not posting or messaging offensive /inappropriate messages or photos
- Monitor your child’s use of language and how they communicate to others
- Have a look at advice for parents on the social media sites.
- Set up your own profiles so you understand how the site works and ask them to have you as their friend on their profile so you know what they are posting online.
Through lessons provided at school, assemblies and guest speakers we do our best to provide our students with the awareness and knowledge they need in order to recognise and avoid dangerous, destructive, or unlawful behaviour and to respond appropriately. However, it is only through a collaborative effort between parents and the school that we will succeed in creating responsible and safe cyber citizens.
If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me your child’s teacher. For more detailed information please visit https://www.decd.sa.gov.au/parenting-and-child-care/parenting/parenting-sa/parent-easy-guides/cybersafety-parent-easy-guide
El Mastrangelo (Student Wellbeing Leader)