Lyman Student Council is hosting a food drive for donations to the local food pantry. Donations can be brought to the high school or you may call the school and a Student Council member will pick your items up.
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Parents & Community Members:
I am updating my superintendent’s letter in response to several things that occurred during the month of September. No issue is more important in the school setting that student safety. During the month of September, we had an in-service program that provided sessions on digital safety and cyber-bullying for our students, staff and parents. Our speaker was Mr. Terry Stulken. Mr. Stulken had presented at Lyman before as well as presenting in hundreds of other districts in six mid-west states. I write this letter because I know many of our parents and community members did not get the chance to hear his message.
That message centered on how great technology can be when it is used as a productive tool and how dangerous it can be when it is used unwisely. At one time, portable telephones were just that, telephones that could be taken with you. Now they are often 24 hr. per day access points to the internet and social media. Most of us are aware that there are many, many sites on the internet that are not appropriate for elementary, middle school or even high school students, but Mr. Stulken emphasized that parents are often unaware that there are seemingly harmless sites that are covers used by pedophiles for soliciting contacts with children.
The sad fact is that there is a temptation for parents to provide children with smart phones and data plans without investing the time to instruct them about the dangers of using these phones or finding the time to monitor that use. Unless parents are aware themselves and then have those discussions on appropriate use of the phones, their children are at risk. The student can believe they are talking with another child of the same age when in reality it is an adult predator. This letter isn’t intended to talk parents out of letting students use cell phones, but to encourage them to stay involved, to monitor and set some rules for safe usage.
It may seem a minor thing, but one of the best things parents can do is to have their children turn their cellphones into them when they get home. This can place an emphasis on family communication and more importantly ensures that children are not utilizing the phones late at night when they should be sleeping. I have worked with students that could not help falling asleep at school and then admitted that they had stayed up half the night texting their friends or playing games.
Another issue for the school is that students at time may get into online bullying activity. Several years back before this was possible on cellphones, I had two sophomore girls who had been e-mailing each other making negative comments and threats toward each other. When this erupted into a physical fight between the girls at the school, both parents were surprised to find that the girls had been sending these messages from their homes. They had not had the necessary discussions on appropriate use and they had not done much in the way of monitoring computer use. Today students have the ability to use cellphones to send messages at any time of the day with even less supervision than we might have with a home computer. Some of the most horrific attacks that have happened at schools have been connected to issues involving students being on the receiving end of negative, hurtful comments and threats. In some cases there was not bullying, but the young people had mental health issues and had posted information that if it had been monitored would have raised concerns and led to possible intervention.
Today’s technology can be the means to accomplish great things or to provide support to individuals that need it. A year ago, the social media took off with the ice water challenge that led to millions of dollars being raised for medical research. Social media sites like Facebook can be used to keep families and friends connected over long distances providing feedback and support. People can research information on everything from medical issues, the best places to eat or home improvement projects. At the same time, people need to be aware that what they post to the internet is available to just about anyone and stays there forever and a day. Posting a profanity laced rant or pictures of questionable taste may come up when a prospective employer is deciding who they want to interview.
We all have a part to play in teaching our young people to utilize the best of technology as a tool for good. We also have a responsibility to make sure that they understand that misuse of that technology can have bad if not dangerous outcomes.
4:00 PM MS Wrestling Winner
4:00 PM MS-GBB Chamberlain A-B
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Little Raider Cheer Camp-Presho Music Rm
7:30 PM Drama Play
9:00 AM WR Ft. Pierre