Is Your Child Ready for Facebook?

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Received this from a elementary school counselor:

Is Your Child Ready for Facebook?

“If your child is in grade school or the early years of middle school…..the simple answer is no, the minimum age for Facebook account holders is thirteen. Elementary schools have no thirteen year-old students therefore they should not have any students with these accounts. Besides, surveys have found that students have a seventy percent higher likelihood of being bullied online if they use a social networking site so I would discourage parents from rushing to sign their children up for these accounts.

This year all Red Pine Elementary fifth graders took part in a class discussion where we equated the required Facebook age to the minimum driving age: Kids can’t drive independently until they are sixteen – even if they feel like they can handle it before then. That’s the law and the students supported the age requirement stating that by sixteen they expect to be more mature and responsible than they are now. I respectfully ask you, our families, to take the age requirement for social networking sites just as seriously and to not create accounts for your children until they reach the required age. This will go a long way toward reducing the online bullying that is being reported by our students.

Please talk to your children about the dangers that they may encounter on the Internet and keep a watchful eye on their use of social networking of all types (texting, email, networking websites). Like supervising a new driver with a learner’s permit, I ask you to think of yourself as being in the seat next to your children ensuring that they are ‘driving safely and with good judgment’ while they are online. If your child is being bullied through a social network, texting, or email I encourage you to save/print a record of the problem and contact local law enforcement.”


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