Family First: Social media classes hope to stop cyber bullying

Family First: Can social media classes curb cyber bullying?

The New Jersey State Senate recently passed a bill aiming to teach students proper social media etiquette. Due to an alarming rate of cyber bullying, resulting in sometimes deadly consequences, lawmakers felt 6th-8th grade students should be taught the proper way to utilize social media.

Elm Grove Middle School principal Ross Boyett says with new technology comes new way for students to become an easy target for bullying.

"Technology is ever changing. What used to be, our students could get away from bullying they could get away from things that happen at school, now they can't."

In the state of Louisiana, there are already requirements in place for all public schools hoping to reach the same goal.

"Things need to be put in place. So that our students are able too distinguish between what is good and what is not good."

8th grade student Shelby Newman says the courses have already had an impact.

"If I wouldn't stand on the football field in front of 200 people and say what I would type online then I shouldn't be typing it at all, says Newman."

Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have been some of the usual culprits. But, some of the newest apps like Snapchat and Ask.FM are quickly becoming breeding grounds for cyber bullying.

Through the I-Learn program in Bossier Parish, students are able to learn several ways to handle themselves either online or through cell phones. Spencer Kiper, who teaches the social media class, says when it comes to being social media savvy, it should be all hands on deck.

"It is absolutely necessary for schools, parents, community leaders, all of the stake holders in a child's life, it's absolute necessary for all of those entities to address the concerns and make the dangers known"

Kiper believes their proactive approach to several online issues including cyber bullying can lead to a better understanding for both students and parents.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.