FCPS Urges Parents To Talk With Their Kids About On Line Behavior

It issued this request in a letter on its website.

Frederick, Md. (KM) The Frederick County Public School System is asking all parents to talk with their children about what they post on social media. In a letter posted on the FCPS website, the school system says “young people often don’t think through the possible consequences of posting, sharing, or commenting on inappropriate content.” It goes to say: “When our schools and law enforcement partners find on line or social media material that could be perceived as threatening–even they seem like jokes or pranks–they are obligated to immediately and thoroughly investigate.”

The letter comes following on line threats made to four schools in Prince George’s County with a reference to a shooting. Extra police officers from the county and municipalities were sent to the threatened schools as well as others around the county.

Frederick County Public Schools spokesman Michael Doerrer says the local school system hasn’t  received any threats recently, but has experienced them in the past. “Every once and while we’ll have a social media post or something on line where a student makes a comment that is not appropriate,” he says.

Doerrer says parents should join with the school system and talk with their children about what is  safe and responsible on line behavior. He says posting any threatening or other inappropriate messages on the internet has its consequences. He also says students who notice this type of behavior should report it to a trusted adult, like a parent, school administrator, teacher or bus driver. “When in doubt, don’t post,” Doerrer says. “Remember that anything you post, anything you put under your name on line will stay with you for the rest of your life. Think twice; talk with trusted adults.”

The Frederick County Public School System has a curriculum to work with students on appropriate, safe on line behavior, which includes how to avoid bullying and other pitfalls of social media.

“One thing that I’m always to happy to report is that our schools in Frederick are safe,” he said. “We have great communities in Frederick. Our principals, our parents, work together with law enforcement to make sure our schools stay safe. And that’s a good thing.”

By Kevin McManus