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SF Parents Get A Lesson On Cyberbullying



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As technology advances, so does the way students communicate, and sometimes it can lead to trouble. Recently, a 12-year-old Florida girl committed suicide after she was bullied by classmates on social media sites. Tuesday night leaders of the Sioux Falls School District held a learning session for parents about preventing cyberbullying.

 Facebook and Twitter have become just a few ways students communicate with each other. Smartphones, tablets, and computers have created a non-confrontational way for kids to bully one another too.
    
DeeAnn Konrad, Community Relations Supervisor of Sioux Falls School District said, "It's important for parents to have the information so they can have detailed conversations with their children."

So on Tuesday night, a panel was brought together to teach parents about cyberbullying, and how to make sure their student doesn't do it.
 
"It's a topic that relevant in today's society," Konrad said.

The panel was made up of students, principals, counselors, and social media experts who taught parents about the popular social media sites and the problems they can cause. Parents also heard first-hand from a detective on what could happen if their student were to say something that caught the attention of more than their friends.

 "It's necessary for people to understand that even if those conversations take place outside of the school day, there are school consequences," Konrad explained.

Senior Jamie Isburg has seen cyberbullying first hand, and she is an advocate for preventing it.

"People build their own different world online, and they can hide behind a computer screen and just be evil," Isburg said.
 
Isburg shared some invaluable advice from student to parent on how being online can help parents protect their student from hurting others.  She said getting their student's password and occasionally checking their sites isn't a bad idea.  

"Or just even make your own Facebook," Isburg suggested.

District leaders said it's just simple advice that will keep students safe.

Social media sites are blocked on the school district’s internet. Also, students using a school-issued chromebook are not allowed to access the sites on their tablet.


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