"Lyla finds a great friend in Jamie on her first day of school, but when Lyla makes the cheerleading squad and a clique of popular girls invites her to join them, Jamie is left behind. Lyla knows bullying when she sees it, though, and when she sees the girls viciously teasing classmates on Facebook, including Jamie, she is smart enough to get out. But no one dumps these girls, and now they're out for revenge."
Bully generated quite the class discussion - one that I feel is an important step in discussing internet safety. In talking about the book, I learned a few not-so-shocking things about my 4th graders.
- Most are active online in some way
- Many text and/or have personal emails
- Some have Facebook accounts
- Parents are not always aware of their online activity
Some combination of the above truths led to this post which is written with parents in mind. Regarding Facebook, their terms clearly state, "You will not use Facebook if you are under 13." This is not a mere suggestion, and it says nothing of parental consent. Should the need or interest arise, check out Facebook's Tools for Parents and Educators.
As parents we want to be aware of and involved in all aspects of our child(ren)'s lives. This is especially true of their online activity and communication. Our children are growing up in a world very different than that of past generations. There are many advantages - instantaneous communication and a world of information at our fingertips. These very same advantages can also pose potential dangers if they are not monitored and discussed at home and at school. Let's talk to our kids.