If you are a parent of a teenager enrolled in a LUSD high school, you just received the infamous back-to-school packet to read and sign off on. It contains a lot of information and many items that you receive each year, but this year there is an addition you should note. The new social networking rules for athletes and co-curricular participants were distributed this year. Trust me, you want to read these thoroughly and discuss them with your children.
A lot of inappropriate behavior occurs online and LUSD is stepping up to do something to make students think before they press enter. You can agree or disagree, but the rules are in place, as well as the consequences for disobedience.
• General inappropriate language of a profane or sexual nature
• Profane or inappropriate language or remarks directed towards teammates, coaches, or other LUSD students, staff, coaches, as well as athletic administrators and representatives from other schools
• Demeaning statements about or threats to any third party
• Incriminating photos, statements, or language in reference to violence, drug or alcohol use, bullying, or any other inappropriate behaviors
• Creating a serious danger to the safety of another person or making a credible threat of serious physical or emotional injury to another person
• Indicating knowledge of an unreported felony theft or property damage
• Indicating knowledge of an unreported school or team violation
• Engaging in or indicating knowledge of cyberbullying and/or harassing another student or staff member
• “Liking” any of the above comments or photos on Facebook or any other social networking sites indicates your approval of such comments and thereby holds you to the same standard. Should you choose to “Like” such comments/photos made on social networks by your friends, the consequences outlines below will apply
• “Retweeting” or marking a tweet as a “Favorite” on Twitter also indicates your approval of inappropriate comments and thereby holds you to the same standard. Choosing to retweet or favorite an inappropriate comment or picture will subject you to the same consequences outlined below.
• “Subtweeting” is not permitted under any circumstances. The notion that you are choosing not to identify the victim of your bullying or inappropriate comments DOES NOT preclude you from the below consequences.
• Other inappropriate behavior as deemed so by LUSD athletics or administration.
1st Offense: 1 Game/Match benching/Suspension from participation
2nd Offense: Removal from the team activity for the season
(unable to participate in any sport during that particular season)
As you can see, the umbrella to cover the crimes is huge. Talk to your kids and remind them to think twice before they press enter. Learn about social networking yourself. If you know nothing about Twitter, then you wouldn’t know what a subtweet is. You might not realize that if your child tweets, “My teacher is an idiot” or “That girl is so fat” without naming the teacher/student, the rules still apply. There isn’t a loophole for ignorance so do your homework.