Social media education program at McAuley High School teaches responsibility practices

CINCINNATI -- Digital privacy, cyber-bullying and sexting were key topics on the agenda at McAuley High School Friday.

Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions and the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office offered students a social media program to help address major online issues.

"We feel it is important to teach our students how to become responsible digital citizens. We want them to use social media in a way that positively affects their lives both now and forever," school nurse Peggy Hock said, who is responsible for bringing the CBTS program to McAuley. 

READ MORE: City of Hamilton taps social media specialists

WCPO reporter Cierra Johnson attended the meeting and spoke with some students of McAuley, and "Responsible Technology" speaker Stephen Smith.

Freshman Katie Bergmann learned some helpful tips for using social media safely.

"In my generation, you're told you have to have social media ... but you have to be careful ... but you're not really told how to take precautions."

Bergmann said she found out that doing the wrong thing with social media can lead to jail time and that privacy in conversations is no guarantee.

"People see things they aren't supposed to see, you think you're having a private conversation but no, they can show anyone," Bergmann said. "There's a lot you can prevent. Just don't post something that's mean or hurtful."

Senior Olivia Justice had some confusion over keeping photos private.

"I knew that if you typed your name into Google, your profile picture from Facebook and your Instagram picture and what not would show up," she said. "But I didn't realize the other photos that you posted on Facebook and stuff could come up also."

Smith compared students' social media activity to their activity in the public eye.

"Their activity on the internet is much like their activity on Fountain Square." he said.

Smith encourages parents to take control of the apps their children use, and to know what they're up to on their cellphones.

"We're not to scare them," Smith said. "We're there to educate them and let them know that the data that they provide to companies like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be used for them and it can be used against them." 



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