Social Media & your HMS Student

What you need to know about recent trends in social media.

A note from your Dean of Students...

Now, more than ever, being involved in your student's social media life matters! During the COVD era, students are spending more time on their devices and finding new ways to connect with those around them.

Your student's desire to communicate and bond with others is truly a positive trait. But, this can also lead to an increase of digital drama or issues. I hope that this informational newsletter can be used to foster a conversation between you and your student and prevent future conflict and encourage healthy connections. Also, don't forget our Social Work site for additional resources.

Thank you! --Kendall Miller (Dean of Students; Highland Middle School, Libertyville, IL)

Have your family, friends, and community follow these tips to safely enjoy social media

  • Privacy and security settings exist for a reason: Learn about and use the privacy and security settings on social networks. They are there to help you control who sees what you post and manage your online experience in a positive way.
  • Once posted, always posted: Protect your reputation on social networks. What you post online stays online. Think twice before posting pictures you wouldn’t want your parents or future employers to see.
  • Keep personal info personal: Be cautious about how much personal information you provide on social networking sites. The more information you post, the easier it may be for a hacker or someone else to use that information to steal your identity, access your data or commit other crimes such as stalking.
  • Know and manage your friends: Social networks can be used for a variety of purposes. Some of the fun is creating a large pool of friends from many aspects of your life. That doesn’t mean all friends are created equal. Use tools to manage the information you share with friends in different groups or even have multiple online pages.
  • Know what action to take: If someone is harassing or threatening you, remove them from your friends list, block them and report them to the site administrator.
  • Post only about others as you have them post about you. The Golden Rule applies online as well.

Check out Common Sense Media!

Tips provided on the following teen topics:

1. How can I help my kid avoid digital drama?

2. What are basic social media rules for middle school students?

3. Can you recommend a messaging app that is safe for kids?

New App to be aware of: HouseParty

Watch the video below to find out what this app can do, why students like to use it, and what dangers are present.
What is the Houseparty App?'s Guide for Parents and Educators

What do I do if my student is being cyber bullied while using a personal device?

1. Save and report: collect data or images that correlate to the cyberbullying. Report the incident through HMS's BULLY REPORTING LINK or through Lake County's Text-a-Tip service.

2. Understand that if a student is being cyber bullied outside of school on a personal device, there are alternative measures that may need to be taken. While HMS is here to support your student emotionally, you may consider filing a police report with the Libertyville Police Department (847.362.8310) if you are looking for further investigation.

3. Ask yourself and your student--do we need this app in our lives? What would it look like to delete this application? Do the positives outweigh the negatives?