Monthly Archives: September 2012

Glitch on Facebook means your old direct messages and posts to friends may be visible to all

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Imagine if some of your direct messages suddenly were made publicly visible to all? The potential for friendship disaster may be very high, especially in the high drama world of middle and high schoolers.

The tech blog TechCrunch has just revealed that this seems to be the case. Posts made in years past to individual friends, and in some cases direct messages, may be revealed in past years on your timeline.

How can you fix it? Easy enough.

  1. Click on your name in the upper right hand corner to view your timeline.
  2. Click on past years (one at a time). It will open up a box (see image) listing all the individual posts you made to others. Hover over the upper right hand corner so that a little pencil icon appears. Choose “Hide posts from timeline.”
  3. Repeat this for each year.
  4. No go help your kids do the same on their timelines.
This is a powerful reminder that we need to be scrupulously careful about the things we post online, even in a supposedly private context like a direct message. As soon as we put it in writing and release it into the ether, we lose control.

 

Sticks & Stones: Practical Strategies for Communicating with Parents About Bullying Issues

Workshop posterTeachers and school administrators consistently tell me that one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with bullying issues is communicating with parents. Parents of the bullies, for sure, but also parents of the kids who are targeted, and the kids who witness bullying events in the schoolyard, the playground or online.

Parents want what’s best for their children, of course. But sometimes this concern — and the emotions bound up with it — can interfere with proactive attempts to educate students about bullying, to give them the tools to protect themselves and stand up for others, and stop doing or saying things that are upsetting or harmful to others. Parents of kids who are aggressive to others are sometimes unable to admit to themselves that their child is being hurtful, and they tend to be very defensive and resistant when principals or teachers call them in to discuss this.

Students quickly pick up on the tension between their parents and the school, and this tends to muddy or render ineffective any anti-bullying messages that might otherwise sensitize kids to this important issue.

This one-day workshop is oriented towards developing practical strategies for school personnel involved in this kind of communication with parents. We will look at proactive, preventative communication (before anything occurs, to establish school policies and protocols, and to involve them as stakeholders), at developing sample scripts for phone calls and written communication, at negotiation strategies to get past defensiveness, anger and confusion and move everyone to consensus or acceptance. Clearly defined policies can go a long way to lessening stress and aggravation for all concerned.

Email donna.wilkinson@mcgill.ca or call her at 514-398-6961 for more information and registration forms.