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Lakewood presentations focus on social media safety


Lakewood High School hopes that parents and students will benefit from two sessions on Nov. 30 about staying safe on social media and in the digital world.

On that day students are scheduled to attend an assembly about social media safety and digital literacy.

Later, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., another session will be held for parents interested in learning strategies and suggestions to keep their children safe.

The night session is not meant for anyone younger than high school level. The presentation is open to the public at Lakewood High School at 17023 11th Ave. NE, Arlington.

“It's about the pratfalls of social media, what can go wrong,” said Lakewood High School Principal Mike Curl.

“People have access to a lot of information as soon as you log in,” he said.

The presentations focus on how to stay safe while using social media and the internet, said Curl, as it's unlikely that parents will be able to keep their children away from digital tools.

“When we’ve had teachers taking cell phones away from kids, it’s not a healthy situation,” he said.

“It’s like taking their car keys,” said Curl, and cell phones are part of their identity.

Lakewood High School teachers try to be permissive when cell phones are not a disruptive part of the environment, said Curl.

“Cell phones have been around for a while, but instead of outlawing, we’re saying ‘there’s times and places for them, and it’s up to the teacher to help monitor them,’” he said.

The presentation from Darren Laur, co-owner of Personal Protection Systems, is meant to talk about the best ways to stay safe.

“He sets up some fake accounts for the presentation and kids get on it and he starts calling them out during the assembly,” said Curl.

The sessions are meant to teach students and parents about privacy, how to use social networks in a good way, understanding the permanency of posting online, internet predators and how social engineering tricks are used to trick people.

“They should realize that by being so involved in social media and the sites that they visit that it can be dangerous. There can be identity theft or harassment or someone with ill intentions,” said Curl.

The presentation is meant to “help them understand that they’re not invincible,” he said.

The evening session, open to the public, is meant to explain social media, "sexting" and the laws around it, online harassment and other potential problems to look out for.

“This will help parents monitor their kids,” said Curl, and help them understand what they should be checking to make sure their children remain safe.


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