Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Parents get lessons in talking to kids about social media

LARGO

When Pinellas County sheriff's Deputy Tom Kelley talks to parents about their children using social media, one piece of advice stands out: Don't stay on the sidelines.

"We tell them to be involved with their kids and go online. Ask, see what apps they have on their phone," Kelley says. "We're trying to teach parents to be involved, look at what's on their phones, and then ask them and communicate."

Kelley's traveling education program, "Social Media & Your Kids," began last week at Countryside High and continues with two sessions — Monday at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle and next week at Boca Ciega High.

The program educates parents of students age 12 to 17 about the latest social networking sites, types of monitoring software and techniques for talking to kids about such matters. Kelley distributes a "parent's toolbox," a brochure that lists websites on how to report cyberbullying, outlines of text lingo, and articles from educators and psychologists.

Kelley, a sheriff's deputy since 2006, focuses on community education. His programs involve visiting neighborhoods and schools to educate the public on local concerns, including social media safety.

In addition to addressing parents' concerns, Kelley's talks reach students at the county's high schools and middle schools.

"They want to be connected with their friends and stay current with everything that's happening," he said. "So we tell them that it's okay to stay connected, build your pages, have your profiles and blog and stuff, but make sure you're being a responsible person online."

He said his biggest concerns are the sharing of nude photographs and harassment. "Those photos could end up being copied and posted anywhere," Kelley said. "Something you could think 'Oh, I'm just going to send this one picture of myself' could end up being copied and then pasted on someone else's page, and then you have no control of if it gets taken down."

Kelley has taught courses about Internet safety to educate parents about online predators. He used those courses to help develop his current program on social media.

He counsels parents to keep up with trends on the Internet and not to get comfortable with just monitoring Facebook.

"He was able to give us updates on media formats besides the typical Facebook you hear about," said Kristina Bauman, an assistant principal at Madeira Beach Fundamental School who attended the first session at Countryside High.

Kelley said he sees "the light turn on" after discussions as parents begin to question if they communicate to their children about life online.

"Everything kind of changes at a very rapid pace," he said. "There's a lot of ways for kids to connect to people, but there's a lot of ways for people to connect to your kids."

if you go

Social Media

& Your Kids

This presentation for parents by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office continues this week and next. Topics will include popular sites and mobile applications, how to talk to your kids, why it's important to pay attention and the best ways to monitor online activity. The sessions will begin at 7:30 p.m.:

• Monday, Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School, 6410 118th Ave. N, Largo

• Nov. 18, Boca Ciega High School, 924 58th St. S, Gulfport

For information, contact Tom Kelley at (727) 582-6200 or tkelley@pcsonet.com.

Parents get lessons in talking to kids about social media 11/08/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 8, 2013 6:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In Iowa, the president channels his inner candidate Trump (w/video)

    National

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Struggling to advance his agenda in Washington, President Donald Trump traveled to the Midwest for a raucous rally with his loyal supporters — the kind of event he relished before winning the White House.

  2. Applications for U.S. jobless aid tick up to still-low 241,000

    Working Life

    WASHINGTON — Slightly more people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but the number of applications remained at a historically low level that suggests the job market is healthy.

    On Thursday, June 22, 2017, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits a week earlier. [Associated Press]
  3. Study: States with legalized marijuana have more car crash claims

    Accidents

    DENVER — A recent insurance study links increased car crash claims to legalized recreational marijuana.

    A close-up of a flowering marijuana plant in the production room of Modern Health Concepts' greenhouse on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. [C.M. Guerrero | Miami Herald/TNS]
  4. Black lawmaker: I was called 'monkey' at protest to change Confederate street signs

    Blogs

    A black state legislator says he was called a "n-----" and a "monkey" Wednesday by pro-Confederates who want Hollywood to keep three roads named after Confederate generals, including one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Rep. Shevrin Jones.
  5. Senate GOP set to release health-care bill (w/video)

    National

    WASHINGTON -— Senate Republicans on Thursday plan to release a health-care bill that would curtail federal Medicaid funding, repeal taxes on the wealthy and eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood as part of an effort to fulfill a years-long promise to undo Barack Obama's signature health-care law.

    From left, Uplift Executive Director Heidi Mansir, of Gardiner, Maine, former West Virginia State Rep. Denise Campbell, Elkins, W. Va., University of Alaska-Anchorage student Moira Pyhala of Soldotna, Alaska, and National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson appear before Democratic senators holding a hearing about how the GOP health care bill could hurt rural Americans, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 21, 2017. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to push for a vote next week on the legislation, which would eliminate much of Obama's 2010 overhaul and leave government with a diminished role in providing coverage and helping people afford it. [Associated Press]