On Tuesday, March 4, Deputy Dustin Demuth from the Lyon County Sheriff's Department offered a presentation on internet and social media safety for all 6-8 students. Social media has become a staple in the lives of most students and adults. Internet and social media apps play an important role in keeping students connected, sharing information quickly, and providing entertainment. There are also inherent risks associated with social media use including exposure to inappropriate material, cyberbullying, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Exploitation and human trafficking are on the rise in SW MN and social media is a tool that is easily accessible for predators to target, manipulate, and get personal information from our young people. Students learned about these risks, how to recognize them, and what to do. We strongly encourage you to continue these conversations at home and help your students set appropriate and safe boundaries around social media use. We encourage parents to monitor their child's social media use, help them set appropriate privacy settings, and review their social media contacts for strangers or potential predators. Consider using a parental control app to limit exposure to unwanted applications or content, and set time limits for social media use. Sleep deprivation as a result of overnight social media and internet use is becoming more of a concern with some of our students. Keeping cell phones and electronic devices out of the bedrooms at night is a good practice to prevent that.
Attached you will find the recorded presentation from Deputy Demuth, a parent video about Tik Tok, an app of particular concern, and the Powerpoint presentation he used. Please use these tools to continue the social media safety discussion with your student and help them set safe and appropriate boundaries. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the school.