The community is invited to attend a Social Media Symposium on Wedenday night at Heritage High School in Brentwood to assist parents learn more about social media trends.
The symposium is a partnership between Brentwood Police, Heritage High School, the REACH Project and #ICANHELP beginning at 6:30 pm in the Theatre at Heritage High School. The event is aimed at 9th and 10th grade parents to help educate on the social media trends and to help stop negativity on social media.
According to Mitch Brouillette, Brentwood Police School Resource Officer, the symposium will focus on cyber bullying, enlighten parents on what social media platforms kids are using, and how to help parents become practical in becoming aware of what their child is doing on social media.
“Social media is not going anywhere, its this kids world and they do not know life without social media and parents sometimes do not know how important social media is in the kids life,” said Brouillette. ”We are not blasting social media, but encouraging it to be used in the right way.”
Brouillette noted that when he was a youth, a rumor happened and it was over in a week and people moved on. Today, however, people screen shot social media posts and a youth has to re-live it over and over.
“Parents need to be more involved,” said Brouillette. “Bullying is successful because people keep it a secret. Your kid may not be a bully, but they see it and observe it. They need to stand up to stop it by not being a bystander.”
The symposium was created after Brouillette and the district were reviewing cases last year.
During the review process, not a week went by where they did not deal with depression, students contemplating suicide or having suicidal thoughts. They say 80% of the issues were related to some form of social media.
“This event was created based off discussion by police and school officials,” explained Brouillette. “We are starting with 10th grade because they were the worst class in terms of issues relating to social media. We are just trying to be proactive and because we care, not because we have to.”
According to Brouillette, the event picked up steam to host it after a recent incident locally that occurred with a student contemplating suicide. Brouillette noted that during the event, they will share the story of another teen girl in the Bay Area who committed suicide over cyber bullying. The teen sent a naked photograph to her boyfriend, however, when they broke up, he posted it online and she ended up taking her life over the naked photo.
In the end, Brouillette hopes to empower parents to speak with their children to help delete negativity in the social media world.
If you go:
November 4 at 6:30 pm
Heritage High School Theatre
101 American Ave, Brentwood, CA 94513