Talk set on cyberbullying, sexting at New Canaan High
Published 7:19 am, Friday, October 31, 2014
Because of recent complaints from New Canaan High School parents about a new location-based smartphone app blamed for inciting cyberbullying, the high school administration and Parent and Faculty Association are bringing a speaker next week to talk to students and parents about ways to prevent such abuse.
"It was disappointing to learn in a letter from the New Canaan High School administration that our students were misusing Social Media and upsetting their fellow students," PFA Co-president Stephanie Kushner said in a news release. "Our children have powerful tools at their fingertips but some are struggling to handle it responsibly and productively."
The app -- StreetChat -- uses GPS coordinates to pin students' locations and create a list of nearby schools. It then lets users create public postings or send direct messages to other users, but many students have used the app to bully or share jokes about their classmates, teachers or school staff.
Richard Guerry, whose award-winning program focuses on ways to prevent "sexting" and "cyberbullying" and also create solutions to digital issues students may face, will speak at the school's Wagner Room at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
All students from ninth to 11th grade will attend an in-school assembly with Guerry earlier this day. The evening presentation will be open to the public.
Guerry's goal, according to Kushner, is to construct a digital community free of negative and "sometimes irreversible consequences resulting from poor judgment."