On Tues April 18th, Runnymede PS hosted Jumma Inniss, of The Message Movement, for an informative talk on Social Media & our Youth. The Grade 6 students sat in on a talk with Juma from 2-3, then parents were invited back the same evening to hear a similar message which was more geared to parents. This presentation was funded by a PRO Grant from the Ministry of Education.
At the afternoon presentation with the Grade 6 students, Juma cautioned students to think before posting because nothing ever disappears from Social Media even if the user deletes it. Many students were under the impression that images do disappear once deleted. He used a great analogy about driving, and how we have rules for the road to keep us safe, yet we don’t quite have the same levels of safety for keeping kids safe while on the internet. He emphasized ‘We can be one bad decision away from veering off a safe path’.
During the evening talk, Juma touched on many negative & positive aspects of social media and offered some interesting Canadian stats. He also explained how screen time can interrupt sleep patterns. A key message from the talk was ‘CURE’ which is a behavioural tool we as parents can use in our approach with our kids to help engage them and better understand how they are navigating social media:
C – Curiosity
U – Understanding
R – Respect
E – Empathy
If we approach conversations with our kids leveraging these elements, this creates fertile ground for feedback from kids.
A great discussion arose between parents about the importance of engaging in conversation about devices and how we can collectively reinforce a consistent message to kids about when/how much device time is acceptable. ‘Let’s put the brakes on it collectively!’ one parent commented. Principal Hochberg explained the school’s policy in regards to devices, and a Runnymede mum who is also a high school teacher explained what issues they encounter with devices during school hours. It was interesting to note that most students had Snapchat and/or Instagram accounts and hardly any had Facebook whereas when parents were asked, it was the reverse; many had Facebook and far less had Instagram/Snapchat.
Here is a thank you message from Juma:
Thank you again for inviting me to share with your community! I really enjoyed working with your students. I am so glad to have shared with your parents and happy I could help catalyze and provide a spark to further the conversation amongst yourselves collectively, and collaboratively.
Further to our discussion, please find a private link to our website below where parents can find additional resources on the social media topics they were curious about in addition to a copy of the presentation for standalone readability. Please feel free to share the contents of this article with the student who was curious about US citizens unable to block mobile communications from President Trump.
From your Council Chair:
If you have any ideas for topics we can cover at next year’s parenting talk, please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Dependent on future PRO grant funding)