Internet Safety, Bullying Prevention Ongoing In Cannon Schools

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Internet Safety and Bullying Prevention have been major focuses in all Cannon County schools this year.

As part of the School-wide Positive Behavior Support program, each school taught anti-bullying lessons at the beginning of the school year and retaught those lessons in January.

During the month of March, fourth and fifth grade students across the county participated in a presentation by Kids on the Block which was funded by The United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties. Kids on the Block uses puppets to help students understand the importance of valuing people with differences, the consequences of their own actions, and the role they play in helping to stop bullying in their school.

Internet safety has also been addressed this school year. In January, student internet users completed a Cyber Safety course. In addition, elementary school counselors Freda Henson and Kendall Hampton, in partnership with Linsey Arfstin, Health Educator for the Cannon County Health Department, taught Media Influence and Sexting lessons to students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. These students learned about how the media can influence their decision making as well as the following five things they should think about before they press send:

1. Don’t assume anything sent will remain private. What you send may be viewed down the road by college admissions officers and potential employers.

2. In the world of cyberspace, there is no changing your mind. Anything you send or post will never truly go away. Teens caught sexting may be charged with the following federal crimes: production, distribution and/or possession of child pornography.

3. Never do something that makes you uncomfortable, even in cyberspace. If you would be embarrassed for your mom, your teacher, or your friends to watch it with you, it is not a healthy decision.

4. Consider the recipient’s reaction. Just because you think something is funny doesn’t mean the person who gets the message will feel the same way.

5. Nothing is truly anonymous. Even if someone only knows you by screen name, online profile, phone number, or email address, they can probably find you if they try hard enough.

Whether a school is in a small town or a large city, sexting and bullying are growing concerns. It takes students, parents, teachers, staff members, school administrators, and community partners working together to address these issues. Cannon County Schools appreciate the role that community partners play in addressing these problems and helping maintain safe and effective schools.

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