In today’s digital world, information is available at the tip of your fingertips but as it is said, with great power comes great responsibility, and Henderson Junior High is making sure its students know the importance of online safety.
The school held an assembly this week with James Munton’s CyberSense “Think Before You Click!” program where he touched on topics like cyberbullying, online predators, sharing inappropriate photos and identity theft.
“I’ve been honored and privileged to visit schools for the last 12 to 15 years and one of the messages I talk about is bullying. I’ve had an anti-bullying show that I’ve done for many years,” Munton said. “About six or seven years ago I started getting schools asking me to tackle the subject of cyber bullying.”
Over the years more schools were asking Munton to incorporate a variety of topics into his program, which then became what it is today.
“The thing kids really need to learn about is the actions they take now unfortunately can stay with them for many years because the stuff they post online doesn’t go away,” Munton said. “I also have an 11-year-old daughter myself who has just begun middle school, so all of this stuff is extremely personal for me as well.”
Munton makes trips all over Texas and other states spreading his CyberSense.
“What I’m conscience of is the fact that if you’re talking to a group of teenagers there’s a tendency for them to switch off and not listen to someone and start thinking about other things,” Munton said. “So I really need to capture their interest and the way I do that is by using a little magic to get their attention and have some comedy so they’re laughing and having fun and I really think that’s the best way for them to receive the information and retain it. Hopefully the next time they go online they’ll really think before they click.”
The program taught HJH students:
How important it is to control their online presence; How difficult it is to take back photos and messages posted online; How identity thieves and predators read their information and what they do with it; Why identity theft can be devastating to young people; How a careless comment of photo can affect college admission, job opportunities and social relationships; How each one of them has a role to play in eradicating cyberbullying; How to create the perfect password; How to adopt the CyberSense mindset and think before they click. “Every student at Henderson is building their ‘digital footprint.’ Everything they post online, good or bad, becomes a part of who they are in the digital world,” said HJH Principal Donna Ward. “The issues Mr. Munton talks about in his presentation are issues that our students face on a regular basis. Our goal is to bring awareness to the issues that exist online, and prevent our students from making mistakes that will hinder their success in the future.”