Middle, high school students learning the importance of social media safety

Middle, high school students learning the importance of social media safety (NTV News)

Kids from central Nebraska are learning what's smart when it comes to social media.

A lawyer and public speaker from KSB School Law spoke to students and teachers focusing on the appropriate use of social media and cell phones.

Middle schoolers filed into the school's gym with plenty of knowledge on social media, but they say they didn't know how much it could impact their lives.

"I kind of knew that you could get in trouble, but I didn't know that it was that severe of a punishment," said eighth grade student Camryn Potter.

"I never knew some of what they determine as bullying," said eighth grade student Mckenna Ortgiesen.

The principal for Wilcox-Hildreth said like every school, they've had their fair share of issues surrounding social media.

"We're hoping to enlighten our students when they're at a young enough age so they can make good decisions when using social media, because all students will be using social media when they get older," said Principal of Wilcox-Hildreth Public Schools Justin Patterson.

Lawyer for KSB School Law Karen Haase addressed many issues students in the technology era are facing.

"With middle school kids, we spend most of our time on bullying and cyber bullying because that's the majority of the problems we have," Haase said.

She also spoke with students about sexting as well as basic internet safety.

"Families in particular in central Nebraska think they've settled in smaller towns where their kids are safer and there's a higher quality of life. Once you add the element of digital communication, it's like all of us are raising our kids in Times Square. So there's no I'm safe because my kids are in Wilcox or Hildreth or on the farm. If they have the access to social media, they have access to all the same opportunities to get into mischief that all the kids in the big, metro areas do," Haase said.

One thing she stresses is that social media can be a great tool and she doesn't want parents to take that away from their kids.

"I'm a better parent because I know what my kids are doing online. I know my kids better and I know my kids in a different way. My vision for the future is that parents are digitally parenting in addition to analog parenting in person, and I think that could lead to some very cool results," Haase said.

She said many of the apps she even has herself allow her to better understand what's going on in social media first hand.

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