Remember that old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"
Any teenager growing up in this digital age knows that saying is not completely true, and students at Houghton Middle School were required to attend a Cyber Safety Initiative (CSI) assembly.
â??They learn that when they post things to their cell phones or when they send text messages that those things just donâ??t always go away. Theyâ??re there forever, and they can be very hurtful,â?? said Paula Ramelis, CSI presenter from Michiganâ??s Attorney Generalâ??s Office.
According to isafe.org, 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online, and one in four have experienced it more than once.
â??There was this picture of me online and it was of me selling lemonade, and people were just making fun of me for it because I was in sixth grade, and they just thought that I was too old to be doing that,â?? said Kaitlyn McKay, a seventh grader at Houghton Middle School.
â??Weâ??re noticing that kids are tending to say words on the Internet, using things like Facebook, and I got two phone calls from the police today about Internet words that were said, so Iâ??m very concerned about this,â?? said Principal James Luoma of Houghton Middle School.
Students can be held legally responsible for their actions, and parents can be held financially responsible if cyber bullying or other information endangers another person.
Students were reminded that the information they share today could harm them in the future, especially when it comes to applying for college or jobs. During the assembly, students also learned how to stay away from predators and the type of information that can be placed online.
The school says they hope the seminar will not only better inform the students, but also help them think about what they type or text before they press send.
If your school is interested in bringing this free Cyber Safety Initiative, register here .