11:32 Tuesday 28 January 2014

Social network safety bid in schools set to expand

Written byROB SMYTH

EVERY secondary school pupil in South Derbyshire has received a presentation warning of the potential dangers of social networking sites.

‘Face up to Facebook’ was created in a bid to raise awareness with youngsters and their parents on how they can use sites such as Twitter safely.

The campaign was designed with the help of youngsters in Swadlincote, Newhall and Woodville and now all youngsters have been talked through the risks of heading online.

The scheme has been such a success that could soon be rolled out to offer the same warning to youngsters at primary schools in the area.

A spokesman for ‘Face up to Facebook’ said: “The campaign aims to raise awareness with young people and their parents on how they can use social networking sites safely and how to report any concerns.

“Called ‘Face up to Facebook’, the campaign was developed with the help of young people in the area and advises social networking users to ‘be careful, be aware and advises what to do If things go wrong’.”

Youngsters are being urged to make sure that they use their privacy settings safely, make sure only their friends can follow them and that they don’t post personal details.

Schools in the area are also tackling the problem head-on by looking at the issues during lessons.

Granville Sports College, based in Burton Road, Swadlincote, head teacher Sylvia Thomas said: “We surveyed the kids on bullying and they recognised the issue. From the survey the predominant feature was online bullying, it was a significant issue for them.”

As well as bullying the school has been pointing out the dangers of photographs posted online falling into the wrong hands.

Miss Thomas added: “We did an assembly where one of the teachers ‘Googled’ pupils and found pictures of them. It’s about saying to them ‘we got a picture of you without doing much’.

“I think if they are used correctly they can be a useful tool but it’s about using them correctly and that is the issue.”

More information is available online at www.cyphderbyshire.co.uk/

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