Recently, 6th-10th grade students in Owatonna Public Schools were fortunate to have national speaker, Keith Deltano, work with students on bullying. He has provided us with many resources for parents that include filters to help monitor your student’s use of social media and sites that will help your student if they are being harassed online. We encourage parents to monitor the amount of time their student is spending on their phone or device, what they are accessing on their device, and how they are interacting with others on social media sites. While our school district takes great measures to prevent and respond to bullying, harassment, and mean behavior, we cannot do this alone. Your help and support is critical. Below is an excerpt from Keith’s blog that includes the resources you need to help your student make good choices online. You can find many other good resources at his website https://www.dontbullyonline.com/.
Social media can be overwhelming. There are so many platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat, Kick, flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine and more. How do you monitor it all? How do you protect your child from cyberbullying, pornography, predators and other negative influences? You need help. How do you keep track of what is happening on the family computer, the lap top in their room, and the multiple smartphones and tablets that exist in your home?
You need help. You will use technology to fight technology. You are going to down load an “internet filter”. These filters will allow you to see what is happening on your child’s smart phone without actually picking up his/her phone. These filtering devices will create a dashboard on your computer you can use to monitor multiple devices.
These filters will block access to pornographic sites as well as violent sites or sites that promotes suicide and self-harm. They will also be able to give you a snapshot of what your student is doing with social media. These services do costs money. However, considering the protection they provide, they are extremely affordable.
Go to these websites to download filters and tools that will help you monitor your student’s use of social media. These tools will help you stop inappropriate messages/images from going out and from coming in. They will also monitor your child’s social media use for you and report to you through email alerts. You do not have to individually check your students Facebook, twitter, etcetera, accounts. The below sites do it all for you (in varying degrees).
www.uknowkids.com – An all in one service that monitors just about every social media platform and reports to you via instant emails. Provides a dashboard that allows you to track nearly everything your child does online.
www.netnanny.com – Another all in one service that helps parents monitor online behaviors. One of the most powerful internet filters on the market.
www.truecare.com – Monitors social media and reports to you like the above sites, however, does not cover as many platforms.
The above sites have some of the best reputations in the industry. However, there are many more. Simply Google “ social media monitoring tools for parents”.
The following sites do not monitor social media, however, they are some of the best sites for help if your child has been bullied, stalked, or harassed online.
www.haltabusektd.org - Works with kids and teens that are experiencing online bullying.
www.cyberangels.org – Volunteers that work to track down stalkers and bullies online.
www.wiredsafety.com – Deals with cyber abuse. If the situation involves any sort of physical/life threats parents must report to the local police before Wired Safety will get involved.