Happy New Year! I wish everyone the best in 2017.
The second semester began on Tuesday, January 3rd. Some students will have schedule changes due to semester classes. There are still some parking permits available for this year. Permits are offered to sophomores, juniors and seniors and can be purchased in the school’s main office. A permit is required to park on school property. Students who are in violation of this rule may be subject to disciplinary consequences. Parents are urged to make sure your children are in compliance with all school parking regulations, especially the following:
- All students must use the south entrance off Chillicothe to enter the high school parking lot.
- Students are not to use the north entrance or drive through the middle school lot.
- The gates behind the school (in front of Howell Field) are opened every winter to accommodate the trucks during snow removal. For the safety of our students this drive is not to be used by students at any time. Suspension of driving privileges will be the consequence for violators.
Winter weather is upon us. Students are cautioned to be extremely careful driving in these hazardous conditions. For many students, this may be their first winter driving experience. Leave home earlier and drive slower. It may be advisable to take the bus when the conditions are unsafe.
As we enter the new year, I wanted to take this time to remind parents to monitor their child’s use of technology. According to a recent study, 58% of all teens between the ages of 12-17 have downloaded apps to their personal cell phones. Apps have become the new way for teens to engage in at risk behavior (sexting, bullying, etc.). Below is a list of apps that are currently being used to engage in these behaviors:
Snap Chat - Snap Chat allows users to send images and videos to their friends. Senders can place a time limit on how long the receiver can view the image or video. The content of the “snap” is erased from 1-10 seconds, based upon the time limit set by the users. Students like Snap Chat because of the simplicity and speed. It sends photos and videos much faster than standard text messages. Snap Chat is the number one app students use for sexting. Teens send nude snaps to other students under the impression that the image will be erased. However, there are countless ways for the receiver of the image to save it. Forensic experts have stated the snaps can easily be recovered, thus they are never truly deleted from the receiver's phone.
The Whisper App - This app allows users to superimpose text over a picture. The users are anonymous, thus allowing for secrets to be posted. This allows users to share feelings and emotions over simple pictures. Teens have started using the app for cyberbullying. Due to the anonymous features of the app, teens are posting pictures of other teens with derogatory text superimposed on the image.
Ask.Fm - This is a question and answer site that allows users to ask anonymous questions. Ask.Fm has Twitter and Facebook integration that allows users to connect with all their friends on those popular sites. Due to intense bullying, Ask.Fm has led to 4 documented cases of suicide in the United States. Users engage in cyberbullying by constantly asking inappropriate and derogatory questions. The app is totally anonymous and is not being monitored by the developers.
The key for parents is to monitor downloaded apps on your child’s phone. Google the app to learn if it is dangerous or inappropriate. Gather all of your child’s passwords and usernames for monitoring purposes. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Assistant Principal/Director of Data and Assessment
West Geauga High School