CYBER SAFET Y CHOICES
ANEW cyber safety campaign has been launched across Townsville Catholic secondary schools this month, created for students by students about how to use social media appropriately.
# makeachoiceyouwontregret was created by students from St Margaret Mary’s College, Ryan Catholic College, St Anthony’s Catholic College and Southern Cross Catholic College and consists of four videos looking at issues such as bullying, sexting, consequences and support to encourage students to stay safe in a rapidly changing digital age.
Townsville Catholic Education senior social worker Jennifer Blackshaw presented the videos at school assemblies and said the feedback from students had been amazing.
“The students on the videos offered some really practical and helpful ideas about supporting their peers,” she said.
“The students’ responses to these videos has been very mature and demonstrate a willingness to spread this message to other students about the importance of being safe and appropriate on social media and to think about the consequences involved.”
The students who contributed to the # makeachoiceyouwontregret campaign are role models for older and younger students by promoting the message in their schools.
Southern Cross Catholic College Year 8 student Danica Johnson, 14, said the campaign helped young people act safely and know there was help available.
“It’s important because there’s a lot of things that can go wrong on social media,” she said.
“It’s more relatable if a student does it, from a peer’s perspective and from someone your age you’re more able to connect with them.”
Ms Blackshaw said having students portray the message rather than teachers or experts had been effective.
“The campaign came from listening to students and recognising that they are a powerful voice and there is an untapped wisdom in the voices of our young people,” she said.
“From an adult point of view, it’s about acknowledging that we don’t actually have all the information.
“We can do some things to guide and support good decisions, but ultimately they are the ones that have the most detailed and the latest information about what young people are using.
“We don’t expect them for one second not to be on social media because it’s the way of the future, that’s just how it is, we just want them to be safe.”