Every October, we look forward to showcasing how EGUSD students are celebrating Digital Citizenship Week. This year, students at Joseph Kerr Middle School got a head start on #DigCitWeek with a guest speaker. Students from Roy Herburger Elementary School attended the annual Stand Up, Speak Out Against Bullying Rally.
Joseph Kerr Middle School – Social Media Safety Assembly
JKMS Activites Director, Chris Perris, invited us to attend a parent night assembly organized by Principal, Zachary Cheney. Principal Cheney responded to a need to address social media issues with the Kerr community.
“In searching for information we could share with our student and parent community about social media safety, I came across Ed Peisner and AB 1542 (Jordan’s Law) and am glad I did. I invited Ed to come speak to our parent community and was so pleased with his presentation and the positive response from our parents that I asked him to return to speak to our students. Ed’s message is personal, moving, and timely as we seek to teach our young people the implications and ramifications of their actions on social media and using digital devices like smart phones. We are in a social media crisis in our schools and people like Ed help to equip students to better understand how to navigate and respond to it.” – Zachary Cheney, Principal
As a follow-up, we reached out to invite students from JKMS to share takeaways from the recent assembly with Ed Peisner, Organization for Social Media Safety (SMS).
8th grade student Hadlee Gray stepped up as our guest blogger to recap the assembly:
Most of the students at our school thought the assembly was just going to be a long lecture, but Ed Peisner’s assembly was different. Mr. Peisner started with a personal story about an attack on his son Jordan – that kids posted all over the internet to be “popular.” He shared his son’s tragic story because he wants students, not just at Joseph Kerr, but students all around the country to know how destructive online acts can be. He shared stories, gave percentages, and connected with many students as to why these acts aren’t right.
Mr Peisner went into great detail about the law that he wrote that is now known as California – AB 1542 – AKA Jordan’s Law. He explained that the law states if you record a fight, then you can get in trouble with law enforcement. Many students at Kerr did not know of the law and now understand the possible consequences of posting student fights online.
I asked students and teachers how they felt about Ed Pesiner’s assembly. Here are some of their thoughts:
“I think kids now have a better understanding that there can be legal consequences for filming and posting student fights online. As teachers we need to continue to teach responsible use of social media.” ~ Chris Perris, teacher/Activities Director
“The most meaningful part of the assembly was learning about the dangers and what can happen using social media wrong.” ~ Adam B., student
“I left the assembly with lots of information about social media I didn’t know before.” ~ Stella D., student
“After listening to Ed Peisner speaking about being addicted to our phones, I did not use my phone for a day. I learned that phones aren’t just for pleasure, we also need them for communication.” ~ Isabella L., student
As you can see, Ed Peisner’s story affected many students at Joseph Kerr. We hope that students at other schools will also be able to attend his assembly. He made a very positive impact and students are starting to think about what he said before using social media.
Thank you, Hadlee, for capturing the event through your write up.
Roy Herburger Elementary School – Students Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally
Photo: Students from EGUSD, SCUSD, SJUSD and NUSD listening to guest speakers.
We had the opportunity to attend this past Wednesday’s 7th Annual Stand Up Speak Out! Against Bullying Youth Rally at the California Museum’s Unity Center with 6th grade students from Roy Herburger.
Photo: Lieutenant Stephen Moore, Sacramento Police Department
The Unity Center is a dedicated space for celebrating California’s “diverse people, customs and cultures.” The annual rally has been a long-time priority for Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. His coalition brings together Sacramento school districts to educate students on the importance of taking a stand against bullying/cyberbullying and all forms of intolerance.
Photo: Students interacting with one of the Unity Center exhibits.
Through the center’s interactive media exhibits, advocacy tools and educational programs, students are empowered to be Unity Activists, exercising their rights and standing up for the rights of others.
Below are a few takeaways from the day shared by Herburger students:
“At the anti-bully rally, hearing the stories of people who got bullied really changed my perspective about bullying.” – Nathaniel P.
“My favorite part was hearing the rapper and all the other speeches about people’s lives.” – Anthony L.
“I loved the speeches and performances. The stations we got to go to were also really fun!” – Sophia C.
“What really stood out to me was when the people were talking about how bullying does not make you cool.” – Zachary A.
“The speeches were my favorite part because they were inspirational!” – Neha B.
Thank you, Herburger teachers, for sharing your students’ thoughts.
When students step up to confront bullying in all its forms, online and in person, they can change the culture and climate of their schools and communities, and, in the process extend Digital Citizenship activities and lessons from a week-long event to a year-long commitment.
Digital Citizenship Week is followed by another important annual event: Media Literacy Week. Because media literacy is an overarching and integral component of digital citizenship, we wanted to share some resources and a challenge from KQED:
Media Literacy for Teachers:
If you have #DigCitWeek or #MediaLiteracyWeek activities or events from your school to share, please leave us a comment.