McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

October 9, 2013

Good digital citizenship: Waller emphasizing student appropriateness, responsibility, boundaries

ENID, Okla. — Waller Middle School has a new focus to go along with having embraced a “Bring Your Own Device” approach to technology. The school is teaching students good digital citizenship.

Adam Beauchamp, Waller principal, said teachers and administrators will have a year-long emphasis on helping students understand how appropriateness, boundaries, etiquette and social responsibility apply to social media and technology.

“We’re teaching the kids about being responsible citizens of the technology age,” Beauchamp said.

School officials want students to have a thorough understanding, not only how to use technology, but also what is and is not acceptable, Beauchamp said. The Internet has changed the nature of bullying. Posting mean thoughts online makes those hurtful words linger — and hurt people — forever.

“It used to be that if I said something about somebody, I said it to one person,” Beauchamp said. “Today, if I post it on the Internet, I say it to everyone — and I say it forever.”

Not only do hurtful words about someone stay around forever, so do all the other things people post online. In that regard, postings can come back to haunt the poster.

“It’s a resumé when kids are talking on the Internet,” Beauchamp said.

Potential employers will do Internet searches and see things applicants have posted online. Those things give employers glimpses into the lives of the applicants.

“You can’t defend it, and we want to make our kids aware of the consequences,” Beauchamp said.

Catina Sundvall, a counselor at ATS Counseling-Focus Institute, told students at a Wednesday assembly that cyber-bullying can cause long-standing pain.

“It becomes really easy now to send someone a nasty text on Facebook,” Sundvall said. “These things really hurt. A lot.”

She encouraged students to stop and think before they post, considering whether people who care about them would be OK with what they post or text.

“Think about what you’re saying,” Sundvall said. “Are you saying it because you want to hurt someone? To make yourself more powerful? Do you ever think about how someone might feel if you say something to them?”

ATS Focus honored Unity Day Wednesday, an event that encourages people to unite against bullying.

“We also encourage clients and peers throughout the community to join us in this stance,” said Nicole Winfield, outreach program director at ATS Counseling Focus Institute. “We want to show that we are there for, and support the victims of bullying, and let them know they are not alone.”

ATS Focus had a banner in the lobby of its Enid office for community members to come in and sign as a show of their support.

“When a child comes in needing counseling for being bullied, we’d love to pull out this banner and remind them they are not alone, and all these people who signed the banner stand behind them,” Winfield said. “It’s sadly a common challenge kids face, and thankfully they can come and seek our clinician’s support to get through it.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State House
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.