Year 7 letter re. online dangers
Potentially harmful misuse of online devices
As a Year 7 team, we have seen a rise in behaviour incidents and safeguarding concerns that come around as a result of students misusing phones or social media. Nowadays, young people have access to technology that can pose a risk to their physical and mental wellbeing, and that of their peers, and can have profound consequences on school behaviour.
Most social media platforms including Tik Tok, Snapchat and Discord have a minimum user age of 13; this is stated in the terms and conditions when creating an account. Please closely monitor any social media accounts that your child uses.
As parents, you may already be having conversations with your child about the technology that they use. To support you in this, we are sending you the attached “Digital parenting” booklet to help answer questions you may have to keep your children safe.
We would like to suggest some conversations starters that you may find helpful when discussing this booklet with your child:
- How many friends they have online that they share personal information with, especially those they have never met in person (see page 6 of the booklet).
- As a society, we value tolerance. This should be reflected in their online conversations. Recent examples of misuse we have seen include the use of racist, homophobic and highly sexualised language.
- Respect for the filters put in place on devices and networks to keep children safe
The use of VPN’s and extensions to manipulate these boundaries is strictly prohibited in school and this message should extend to at home. You can find out more about how to set restrictions on your home internet provider networks here https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers/parental-controls-offered-your-home-internet-provider
- What they should do if they see something that makes them feel uncomfortable
We do, of course, work with our students to highlight many of the above and more, however your support is invaluable. You can also find advice on the school website on how to deal with online issues from fraud to bullying.
Ms S. White
Head of Year 7