Superintendent of Perry Township Schools
Communication has become immediate. Popular sites to share information include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Technology has created unlimited opportunities for us to share information, make comments or enter a forum to share opinions or simply just to say hello.
I bring this topic to you because I am concerned about the use of social media by students not just here in Indiana but nationwide. We read about threats of violence from coast to coast. A few students act as though they are invisible and cannot be located, thus they are tempted to post inappropriate comments. The concern became real when I read a threat on line. Thank goodness one of our students saw the posting and shared it with his parents.
The fact that you cannot hide from your Internet trail was reinforced when our police department called me at 3 a.m. to report that they had the address of the suspect. This occurred within seven hours after the investigation began. Our officers and Homeland Security are simply outstanding. Whenever we need assistance these officers are just a phone call away and ready to take swift action protecting Perry Township Schools, students and community.
You have seen on the news the recent threats aimed toward schools, malls, even movie theaters. Most, if not all of these reports, have been made on social media platforms. These threats are taken seriously and must be to protect our students and staff.
The tragic outcome these individuals face is being charged with a felony and disciplinary action by the school district. A few key strokes can affect their life forever. Perry Township Schools takes these matters seriously; punishments are tough.
We are fortunate to have a close working relationship with the Homecroft and Southport police, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department. Indianapolis Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons and his team are just a phone call away. They all have been supportive.
Please talk to your children, grandchildren and teens about the risks and dangers of social media. Your child’s online reputation/digital footprint is real and valuable to their reputation and future career. Comments, thoughts and emotions placed on social media can change your child’s life forever.