Social Media Safety Tips

Your child and social media
Inappropriate social media usage is a safety issue for students, especially if they are using apps or viewing content designed for older users. There are several social media apps that we see our students commonly using. Please monitor your child’s social media usage to make sure they’re being good digital citizens at home.

Here’s some important information to know about each app, along with instructions on reporting posts and videos that include threats, bullying or other concerning online behavior.

TikTok
TikTok
TikTok is an app that allows users to edit and share short videos. Users must be over the age of 13 to use TikTok. Learn how to report a video on TikTok. 

Instagram
Instagram
Instagram is an app that allows users to share photographs and videos. Users must be over the age of 13 to use Instagram. Learn how to report a post on Instagram.

Snapchat
Snapchat
Snapchat is an app that allows users to send photos and messages privately to individual users or groups. Users can also share photos with all of their users through the “Stories” feature. Users must be over the age of 13 to use Snapchat. Learn how to report a user on Snapchat. 


YouTube
YouTube
YouTube allows users to view and upload videos. Users must be at least 13 to use YouTube, but kids of all ages can use YouTube if YouTube Kids is enabled. YouTube Kids contains videos and advertisements that are all geared towards children, in contrast with the parent site. Learn how to report inappropriate content on YouTube. 


YikYak
YikYak
YikYak is an app that allows people to anonymously share thoughts and information with others nearby. The required age to use YikYak is 17. However, there is no age verification on the app when users are signing up. YikYak doesn’t allow posts that are bullying, threatening, have explicit sexual content, hate speech are use real name. You can report a post on YikYak by clicking on the flag button at the bottom right hand corner of each post. Even though posts are anonymous, YikYak accounts are tied to phone numbers. The app will report flagged threatening messages and accounts to law enforcement.


Discord
Discord
Discord is an app that allows users to communicate with voice and video calls, text messaging, in private chats, and in communities called “servers. The required age to use Discord is 13. Learn how to report issues on Discord.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp
WhatsApp, like Discord, allows users to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls and share images and other content. The required age to use WhatsApp is 13. Learn how to report or block someone on WhatsApp. 


Talk to your child about being a good digital citizen
Digital citizenship is woven into the instruction students receive at Mehlville School District. To reduce disruptions at school, we also need parents' support at home with social media. It’s important that students learn about what it means to be a good digital citizen before they begin using social media. Please talk to your child about the impact what they share online can have on them and others.

Inappropriate social media usage, such as cyberbullying and other crude behaviors, are damaging to students' social and emotional well-being and their relationships with each other. It’s important that our kids understand that nothing is truly anonymous online. It's also important that kids understand that posts are often widely shared and can be documented forever.

Additionally, threats against the safety of students and staff are taken seriously, and students who make threats face serious disciplinary consequences and sometimes face charges and arrests. Talk to your child and help them understand that these consequences can have a lasting effect on their future. Everything they post or share can become public, even if it’s only shared with one person.

Most importantly, remind your children that if they see or hear something concerning, they should report it to a trusted adult. In most cases, students, parents or staff members alert us and law enforcement to potential concerns. Here's how you can report a safety concern. 

Monitoring your child’s online and social media behavior is key to preventing social media usage from becoming an issue. Here are some reliable resources with great information for parents:

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