AMHERST – Hoping to curb bad behaviour and bullying online, the Chignecto Central Regional School Board issued an etiquette lesson on using social media this week.
"As students, staff, parents and guardians welcome the start of another school year, it's a good time to refresh ourselves about social media etiquette," a press release from the school board issued Tuesday reads. "Remember, there is a person behind every profile. Treat them with respect.
The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board (CCRSB) consider thier website, Facebook and Twitter accounts a digital extension of their physical offices. More and more students, parents and guardians, they say, rely on the Internet and social media sites to gather information important to them. With this in mind, it is important to remember some basic tenets of responsible and respectful use.
All CCRSB schools abide by the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct calls on all members of the CCRSB community to be respectful, kind and understanding to each other. These same basic ideas should be applied when using the Internet and social media websites.
If you are going to use social media, the school board says, there are some basic things to remember:
• Students and school staff members are people, not profiles. Treat them with respect and kindness while online.
• Once you write something or post something online, it’s there forever. Even if you regret what you did and delete it, it still may not be gone. The hurt that you cause someone else can follow them, and you, for years to come.
• Repeatedly posting negative comments or pictures about someone else to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or any other social media site or sending text messages that are mean, intimidate or embarrass another person could be cyberbullying.
• The CCRSB Code of Conduct prohibits behaviour that makes fun of, threatens, intimidates or bullies another person face-to-face or electronically. If what you post online, in a text message or via email has a negative impact on another student or CCRSB staff member, you may be subject to discipline at school and, depending on the situation, criminal charges. This applies to information you post or send whether you are at school or somewhere else; during or after school hours.
• You are not anonymous on social media. It might feel that way sometimes, but what you write and post reflects directly on you.To learn more about recognizing and preventing cyberbullying, visit the Kids Help Phone website at www.kidshelpphone.ca or call 1-800-668-6868.