Principal encourages responsible “digital citizenship”

At Brookfield High, as with other schools in Fairfield County and around the nation, concerns have recently arisen about the use of the social media cellphone app Yik Yak that allows users to post anonymous comments, leading to cases of serious cyberbullying.

In the fast-evolving world of social media, Principal Joe Palumbo said technology can be a positive or negative force; he is convinced that with strong guidance of caring faculty and parents that students will get the right message about the ways to properly behave in cyberworld. In speaking with other high school principals about this app that allows for the posting of anonymous messages, and ones similar to it,  Palumbo was pro-active in enlightening staff that this app is not to be allowed on school premises, and he asked parents to be partners with the school community in prohibiting its use. He wants to deliver a “consistent theme.’

Yik Yak offers schools the ability to prohibit the use on school grounds, and Brookfield and other schools in our areas have taken advantage of “geo-fencing” to prevent its use on their premises.

Indeed, Palumbo said the message he focused on, one shared with students, is “digital citizenship.”

Just as with good character traits, digital citizenship promotes the use of technology for good; to be mindful that everyone in the school community needs to be decent, kind, and respectful to one another. He said he recently witnessed that when students relied on social media to raise $8,000 to benefit a fellow students with a serious illness.

His message to students: “Treat each other kindly. Let’s makes the right decisions.”

Nanci Hutson