Social Media, such as Instagram or Snapchat, is now an everyday part of our lives and many of us use and enjoy the benefits it brings. However, there are some who sometimes abuse this by ‘posting’ inappropriate comments and images that can be extremely harmful.
Like all schools, we have dealt with a number of incidents where comments and images posted on-line have led to distress for some of our students. A ‘post’, which may appear harmless, about another person is shared amongst others where they have the opportunity to respond; this can cause unnecessary distress for those on the receiving end.
E-Safety at Thornaby Academy
We take our responsibility to teach students about on-line safety very seriously, as well as providing timely support for those who have been the victim of inappropriate ‘posts’. We have a very detailed pastoral programme that teaches students how to keep themselves safe on line with clear guidance on what to do if they think they are the victim of cyber abuse. Where necessary, we work closely with a range of organisations, including the police, to address cyber issues.
Mobile Phone Policy
At Thornaby Academy, we do not allow students to use mobile phones in school and our policy on this is very clear. Furthermore, social media sites are blocked by our ‘Firewall’ preventing students accessing these from the school site. Despite these measures, inappropriate comments or images that may have been posted out of school, mean that the repercussions are felt in the Academy.
We believe that we have a shared responsibility with parents and carers to ensure that students are using social media safely. Whilst our students may be more knowledgeable in the use of modern communication, it is vital that they do so responsibly. To this end, we would like to invite parents and carers to Thornaby Academy to take part in an informative workshop, in conjunction with the local police, to learn more about what we can do in partnership to actively promote and encourage safer use of the internet.
The Safer use of Social Media event will take place on Wednesday 17 October at 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm at Thornaby Academy. We recommend all parents and carers attend.
In the meantime, if you have concerns that your child might be on the receiving end of inappropriate social media posts, or playing a part themselves, please contact your child’s tutor in the first instance.