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Looney's message to parents: Follow your children on Twitter

Belinda Moss, district technology coordinator, taught parents how to create a Twitter account this morning and “follow” their children on the booming tweeting scene during the first “Let’s Talk Schools” session of spring semester.
Although, many parents reported having Twitter accounts, some gasped when Moss informed them that a picture can be tracked down in the darkest corners of cyberspace using, revealing how many times it has been shared and where it was shared.
“Although a Twitter account can be private, a Twitter profile is public,” Moss added. “Talk to your children about what they should be sharing publicly.” 
“I have four kids, and I follow them all on Twitter,” Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney said.
Parents also seemed shocked to learn from Looney about graphic photos carelessly posted by some students, which he described as images of teenagers drinking, smoking marijuana, engaging in sexual acts and cutting themselves.
“If you can think it, it’s out there,” Looney said.
On the heels of a press conference called by WCS earlier this month, revealing risky Twitter activity by students including anonymous posts about rape, drug use, foul language, threats and other bullying behaviors, Looney said that every parent should know their children’s activity in cyberspace, especially Twitter.
Looney shared that authorities are investigating a report of a student threatening to “hack” the district’s database and reported that a student was recently been charged with a crime based on accounts from activity on Twitter.
Looney and Moss warned parents about children listing their location on Twitter, which could threaten their safety and cause vulnerability to predators. 
“Talk to your children about privacy settings on Twitter,” Moss said.
“Please get a Twitter account and follow your children on Twitter. This is the only way I know how [to help] is to inform you and work together,” Looney said.
The next Let’s Talk Schools meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 20 at Franklin High School from 6 to 7:30 p.m. 
The meetings are designed for WCS parents, students, staff and community members to meet with the superintendent, ask questions and learn more about the operations of the district.

Posted on: 2/18/2014


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