Dear Northshore Families,
The continued increase in technology and social media sites has presented a growing number of risks for those who use them, including our students. Over the past two years, elementary and secondary school administrators and school resource officers have investigated concerns about inappropriate behaviors on social media, including behaviors of a sexual nature.
In fact, police are currently investigating potential incidents at some of our secondary schools.
One survey indicated that more than half of tweens (ages 8-12) own cell phones, and nearly a third of teens admitted to sending inappropriate photos via text.
We are asking you to partner with us to keep our students safe while online. The following tips were gathered from the Bothell Police, our Safety and Security Department and numerous online resources. Please talk to your student about these guidelines for staying safe on all devices.
- Keep your accounts private and never share login information.
- If you are contacted by a stranger, friend or adult requesting personal information, inappropriate photos or to meet, contact your local authorities immediately.
- Never send or request inappropriate or sexual images of yourself or anyone else. The transmission of nude or sexually explicit images is illegal. Report it.
- Never respond to a message or request sent by a stranger.
- If someone requests such images, report that person to a trusted adult at home or at school who can then call local authorities. A trusted adult at school may be the teacher, counselor, principal/assistant principal or the school resource officer. They are trained to respond and take steps to keep the student safe.
- You can also call school administrators to discuss a concern, or use our SafeSchools reporting tool where you can choose to report a concern and give your contact information or remain anonymous.
Resources for parents:
Secret apps that are geared toward hiding digital interactions from parents
10 apps every parent should know about: https://abc13.co/2zsNy4s.
Tools to stay informed of your student’s habits and control what they have access to – if you so choose.
Best parental control apps for your phone: http://bit.ly/2Q2UJL2.
How to protect your kids from hidden smartphone dangers: https://nbcnews.to/2P7ONv1.
Additional age-appropriate tips on using devices safely can be found at:
Cell phone and online safety tips: http://bit.ly/2AGyJez
Director, Safety and Security
Northshore School District