Information for Parents

INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
This section of our web site contains information about social media awareness, digital citizenship, anti-bullying resources, assessment and reporting, and other current issues. Check back regularly for new articles.

Ask.FM Social Media Awareness Article

This social media web site has been at the center of the campaign to reduce cyber-bullying over the past two years. The anonymity and salacious nature of the site creates an ideal platform to bully, harass and embarrass teens. View the full article in pdf format below for more information on this web site. 

 


Cell Phone Safety

Cell phones and personal media devices are a common sight in our secondary schools. Teens view them as an integral element of their connectedness with the world around them and frequently claim they are required for educational purposes. Cell phones and other electronic devices are used in schools for educational purposes, however this accounts for a small percentage of usage. One research study out of the United States states that " 95 percent said they regularly sent emails or texts during classroom lessons, while 94 percent said they browsed file-sharing sites or social media sites like Facebook. Listening to music is another popular classroom activity, according to 93 percent of students, while 91 percent admitted to actually talking on their phones during class.(http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2013/01/k-12/high-school-students-use-cel...). Additionally the attraction of these devices to those looking to turn a quick profit and the inability of teens to adequately lock them away creates opportunities for theft. The Richmond RCMP have a provided information on how to protect your son/daughter from cell phone theft and what steps to take if their device has been stolen.

The Canadian Centre for Child Protection has produced a useful web site that covers a variety of topics related to cell phone safety, use and the risks of smartphone use by young adults. Follwo the link below for more information. A pdf version of the information is provided at the bottom of this page.

http://www.mobility.protectchildren.ca/app/en/

 


Electronic Cigarette Warning

The Vancouver Coastal Health Medical Health Officers are encouraging the School Districts in our health authority to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes (ecigarettes) on school property. Ecigarette use among teens has been increasing and we have received a number of reports about their use at schools in our region. Like conventional tobacco products, e‐ cigarettes do not belong in the school environment. We have recently banned their use on health authority premises. 

Electronic cigarettes are battery operated devices that resemble regular cigarettes. They consist of a cartridge containing a liquid solution and an atomizer which vaporizes the liquid and creates the appearance of smoke. Ecigarettes containing nicotine are not authorized for sale in Canada, but are readily available on the internet and in Lower Mainland shops. 

Concerns about the safety and efficacy of ecigarettes have prompted Health Canada, the World Health Organization and the US Food and Drug Administration to warn consumers against using them. 

We recommend that ecigarettes are banned from the school environment because: 

They can contain toxic substances.
There are no product safety standards.
There is no established evidence base that they are an effective quit aid.
Exposure to ecigarette vapours may put the health of students and staff at risk.
Smoking behaviour may become renormalized at school.
Ecigarettes may play a role in smoking initiation.Ecigarette use provides visual cues that may trigger cravings in youth who are trying to quit smoking. 
 
Please read the full pdf version of this bulletin from Vancouver Coastal Health for more details.