Internet Safety

Below is a letter that was sent out to Garfield Re-2 families via email, through Thursday folders and through school newsletters. It includes links to additional resources that were not included in the original letter.

Hello Garfield Re-2 Families:

The Internet has become a great resource for students and families. In many ways it makes our lives easier, provides information at our fingertips, and has tools that help us manage our lives and learn new skills. The Internet also has pitfalls that we must be aware of including cyberbullying and identity theft.

The Garfield Re-2 School District takes the security of your children on the Internet extremely seriously. Garfield Re-2 has both web and email filters that work hard to limit access to content that may be inappropriate for our students.
Internet Safety Resources

We also have an Internet safety curriculum, at all grades, that is centered around the resources available on Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.com). In elementary and middle school, technology class teachers deliver the Internet safety curriculum. At the high schools, the curriculum is delivered through school-wide content specific lessons throughout the year. By providing information about Internet safety, we are helping students use the Internet productively and practice safe, responsible online behavior.

Change online seems to move at lightning speed creating great opportunities and new, unique challenges. One of the recent challenges that schools across the nation have been experiencing is with a phone app called Yik Yak. Yik Yak was originally intended as a "virtual bulletin board" for college campuses. However, it has become a location for anyone to post anonymous derogatory comments. The developers of this app have since created a "geo fence" around schools so that anyone trying to use Yik Yak in a school will be blocked. However, even if this specific app was blocked or banned, another app would pop up in it's place with different features, but allowing the same end result. That is why it is important to empower our children with knowledge and skills to navigate the Internet and stay safe.

As children become more involved in technology, there are some measures that parents can take to help insure a safe Internet experience. Keep in mind that what may seem like basic knowledge to parents is new to kids just getting started in the digital world. Having a conversation before your child embarks online helps set expectations and establish ground rules.

As soon as your kids begin to go online, it's important to explain your expectations of their behavior. By acting responsibly and respectfully, they will enjoy their time online and get the best of the Internet while mostly avoiding things such as cyberbullying and inappropriate content. Here are some basics to share with your child:


  1. Communicate appropriately. Use the right language for your audience. You might write or speak to a teacher differently from a friend. And never use all caps!
  2. Keep private things private. Don't share personal information, including passwords (except for parents), your home address, your age, phone number, email address inappropriate images, and gossip.
  3. Respect others. Be courteous. Disagree politely.
  4. Don't lie, steal, or cheat. Don't try to deceive others. Remember to give credit where credit is due. And, although it's easy to copy others' work, download things without permission, or use game cheat codes, don't do it.
  5. Be an "upstander." If someone you know is being targeted by a bully, stand up for that person. You would want him or her to do the same for you.
  6. Report misbehavior. The Internet is a global community, and you can help it be a nice place. Immediately tell an adult if something mean or creepy happens.
  7. Follow your family's rules. If your parent tells you to avoid certain websites or to stop texting after a certain time, listen. The more you act responsibly, the more privileges you'll get.
  8. Never open a message from a stranger; it may contain a virus that can harm a computer.
  9. Think before you post, text, or share. Consider how you and others might feel after you've posted something. It's not always possible to take back what you've said online, and your online behavior can create a lasting footprint.
  10. Understand. Everything you post online, including posts to "anonymous" sites like Yik-Yak or "self destructing" chat apps like Snapchat can, and often do, remain forever, potentially having a negative impact on your future. There is no true anonymity on the internet.

(Adapted from Common Sense Media)

The Garfield Re-2 School District provides opportunities for our families to learn more about Internet safety throughout the school year. Earlier this year, we partnered with the Garfield Public Libraries and held a series of technology fairs. We have information online specifically addressing Internet Safety on our web site (www.garfieldre2.org) and we will be creating some additional content for this site as the year progresses.

As opportunities for parents to learn more about Internet safety become available, we will provide information in school newsletters, on our Facebook page, on our website, and in the district-wide auto-email messages. Additionally, schools may place this information in their autodialer messages.

If you have questions about Internet safety and your child, please feel free to contact the Garfield Re-2 Technology Director Roger Gose at 970-665-7600 or rgose@garfieldre2.org.

Other Resources:

Common Sense Media

A great one-stop shop to get info about Internet Safety, reviews of TV shows and movies to determine how family friendly they are, information on apps and much much more.

The Yik-Yak Debacle

Good information about Yik-Yak, how it came about and strategies to curb the impact.

Teen Social Media Safety

A good site with a lot of information about general Internet safety for teens.

After School Banned from Apple App Store - Again

An article about another anonymous social networking app marketed for teens.

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