Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
Expert Teaches PV Students and Parents Importance of Digital Citizenship

Pleasant Valley Community School District believes students should graduate with a great education, and that includes being good citizens on and off line.  To bring that point home, Pleasant Valley asked nationally-known technology safety expert Paul Davis to speak not only to the 6th grade class, but also to parents.

On August 30, 2017, approximately 250 parents came to the PVHS theatre to hear Mr. Davis’ message.

“Our children would not be bullied online if parents didn’t give them the opportunity to be bullied online,” Mr. Davis told the crowd.

He said most trouble online happens when children use the internet alone in their bedrooms.  He urged parents to take all devices, including computers, out of children’s bedrooms.  He also said most students should not have a social media account.  The terms of service on Instagram, snapchat, and facebook say an account holder must be 13. Mr. Davis said often parents let their children have an account they’re not ready for – emotionally or legally.

Mr. Davis also gave tips for parents of older children.  He recommended parents do a check of their social media accounts by asking their children to turn their phones over at a moment’s notice and go through their contacts in each account.  He said if a student can’t tell the parent who the person is in real life, the parent should make them delete the contact.  He said, it’s hard, but a useful tool is taking away devices when students abuse them.

The next morning, August 31, 2017, Mr. Davis spoke to all 6th graders in the district.  Students packed the PVHS theatre, again, to hear his message.  He encouraged students to make their parents give them boundaries on the internet – including removing devices from the bedroom and putting limits on the amount time students can use them.  As for what students do online, Mr. Davis had a strong message – what you type never disappears – ever. He also emphasized getting a “like” or a “follower” doesn’t make a student a better person; connections online should be the same as in real life – real people you really know having real conversations.

But, this event wasn’t just about protecting students.  Mr. Davis also wants students to use the internet to lift others up.  He encouraged students to pay it forward.  For example, for every school he visits he gives the district a case of bananas.  It’s not expensive and it helps a student in need.  He also asked every student to promise to eliminate the word hate from his or her vocabulary — real and online.

PV teachers live-tweeted this event.  You can see the message from Mr. Davis on twitter by searching the hashtag #PVTechSafety.


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