Watch: ABC "Good Morning America"
With George Stephanopoulos Below
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This story is making the rounds and has real implications about the social networking habits of our younger students as it relates to school leadership, parental monitoring and educational impact. A middle school principal at a Ridgewood N.J. school, Anthony Orsini, sent an email requesting parents to take the initiative and control of their middle-schooler's on-line social behavior. No longer is it enough to educate students on acceptable social behavior vs. cyberbullying.
Orsini told George Stephanopoulos on GMA that he has to deal with cyberbullying "every day" on his job. The following are excerpts of the email and link for it in its entirety, see CBSTVC.com:
"Please do the following: sit down with your child (and they are just children still) and tell them that they are not allowed to be a member of any social networking site. Today!
"Let them know that you will at some point every week be checking their text messages online! You have the ability to do this through your cell phone provider.
"Let them know that you will be installing Parental Control Software so you can tell every place they have visited online, and everything they have instant messaged or written to a friend. Don't install it behind their back, but install it!"
"It is time for every single member of the BF (Benjamin Franklin School - ed note) Community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!
"Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None."
Orsini sat down with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" with the rationale and feedback that parents are on board - see video below. Via CNET's Technically Incorrect. Orsini explained that since social networking is getting younger and meaner where children at this age are just simply not emotionally-ready to handle the tough critiques being sent around, such as a "Dave is ugly" group, it was time take more definitive action steps.
He suggest parents remove computers and electronics out of the bedroom especially at night
(the school has seen e-mails come in at 2:30 in the morning from tweens). While stressing that only a small minority of the kids are responsible for the damaging messaging, it takes only one time to inflict "pain" on another and that it they may "never be able to get it back" (before a child gets over the hurt). Stephanopoulos seemed highly skeptical whether parents could "stop" this behavior which is another aspect of the question whether "Should you monitor?" or not. The
other relevat questions are "Is it possible?" and "Is it effective?"
For related story on The Daily Riff, see here, "Being Parented to Be Sexualized & Snippy?" and here, "Is the New Facebook A Deal With the Devil?".
Watch video below and decide for yourself:
Is middle school too young for Facebook?
Heavy-handed monitoring or smart parenting?