(Grace Kennedy photo)

Info night aims to help Delta parents keep kids safe on social media

The April 26 event will talk about current technologies, cyberbullying and being digital role models

Delta parents will get a chance to learn how they can become digital role models for their kids at an upcoming information session at Seaquam Secondary.

The social media education session, taking place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, will help parents navigate the increasingly complicated world of social media and understand how it can pertain to students’ overall well-being.

This, Delta School District director of learning services Joanna Angelidis said, is a key issue for Delta educators.

“We work with students a lot on online safety and healthy use of digital media. We do professional development with staff, [and] students are engaged in learning related to those topics. So this is an opportunity to bring that information to parents,” she said.

“We’re hoping that this [event] provides parents with an opportunity to get information that’s relevant, to participate and engage in informative information sessions … and really, they could be part of an ongoing community dialogue about responsible and healthy use of digital media.”

The information session will feature a presentation by Safer Schools Together representative Nick Chernoff, who has worked as an outreach worker for at-risk youth and a safe school liaison. During the session, he’ll be talking about some of the technologies that youth are using, as well as cyber-bullying, cyber-exclusion and potential impacts to student health.

“As a parent, he’s going to be talking about this,” Angelidis said. “Our responsibility as adults, parents, educators [is] to lead the important work of being digital role models, so that children and youth develop strong digital citizenship.”

So far, Angelidis has seen a lot of interest from the community on the topic, and doesn’t expect it to go away.

“I think it’s a timely topic,” she said. “I think as parents and educators, we’re recognizing that responsible, healthy digital media use is a core component of child and youth health and wellness. We know that it’s a thing we want to be able to play a key role in assisting children and youth in navigating.”

“I’m not thinking this is a one-off opportunity,” she continued. “I think this is important to all of us, as parents and educators.

“I bet you it’s important to youth and children too. In fact, I know it is.”

The evening is organized by the Ministry of Education and Safer Schools Together, a North America-wide organization that aims to manage and mitigate risks to students. It will take place at Seaquam Secondary’s theatre (11584 Lyon Rd.), and will feature a 90-minute presentation along with a 30-minute question and answer period.

Parents are asked to RSVP to Marilou Biron via email (mbiron@deltasd.bc.ca) by Monday, April 23. However, those who miss the date will still be able RSVP, as Angelidis expects many people will want to attend.



grace.kennedy@northdeltareporter.com

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